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

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When Remus woke up, his head felt like it was split open. He grimaced, pressing his eyelids together in an attempt to keep the harsh light out of his eyes, as he tried to get out of bed. He failed and rolled over onto the floor, banging his elbow and grunting in pain as he left a deep indent in the floor.

"Fuck..." he muttered, grabbing his head and rubbing it. Remus could barely see or think as he scrambled along the floor. His hand eventually found a desk and he used it to push himself up. In addition to his aching head, Remus' gut was starting to feel awful. He fought back the urge to throw up as he dizzily made his way to the kitchen.

Steven dazzle woke up from the seat in the kitchen he had slept on. The headache and the empty bottle instantly before him gave the answer as to why. He dragged himself and sat at the table Verathragna was setting up.

"Do any of your godly powers involve getting rid of a hangover?" Steven asked, rubbing his head, "Or summoning black coffee?"

"Do any of your godly powers involve getting rid of a hangover?"

Not only Steven, who had been the one speaking, but also Remus seemed to be pretty hung over. Andrew sighed, obviously annoyed. So, they needed rest, and had somehow figured that getting wasted was the way to go?

Nevermind the thing about being adults. I would say brain as well, but they both seem to have a headache.

He supposed he should help them out, but he wasn't wasting his powers on trying to cure a hangover, that would be stupid. Not only because part of it was caused by dehydration -he could still have helped ease the pains a little- but because there was a lot of causes, some not really looked into yet. And, he still felt a bit unsure about what had happened the day before, even if he didn't like admitting it. Besides, if they suffered the whole day, perhaps they would--- okay, who was he kidding? Of course they wouldn't learn a thing. He didn't know how old they were, Remus were a couple of years younger than him, at least, and Steven looked like he was something like 10 years older than Andrew.

Sure, he had been drunk too before, and he had gotten hangovers as well, but not very often, and not before or during something as important as this.

Morons.

"I'm not even going to try to heal you," he told them, voice somewhat hushed, and while his tone wasn't friendly, it lacked the regular hostility. "I doubt I'd manage to do much good. Just drink water. A lot of it. Orange juice is perhaps even better. And eat what you can manage to eat, whatever should be fine. I did use to have some painkillers, but I gave those to Vera when Aria was hurt. Besides, most brands tend to just make the hangover worse in one way or another."

Andrew didn't feel like telling them what he thought about them getting drunk like this, it wasn't his business, and he had no reason nor desire to give them a lecture about it. he then added; "Also, Nicole, if you don't mind, could you give them a boost when we need to leave? Last thing we need is something else slowing us down."

He glanced over at Etna and Aria, and added; "Actually, you should probably give those two a boost as well." They didn't look as if they had slept very well, at least. "It's up to you how to use your power, obviously, so I'm not going to make you do it."

"It's up to you how to use your power, obviously, so I'm not going to make you do it."

Nicole looked over at the people Andrew had pointed out, they all did look tired but her blessing would be a temporary matter at best. It might help but really they should just take a nap or get some coffee or something. Still I should see if any of them want the boost.

She turned to them "Any of you guys want a blessing? It won't last forever but it could help."

I suppose they could also get a boost from Verathragna or my mom, that would probably last longer anyways.

"Any of you guys want a blessing? It won't last forever but it could help."

"Nah, I'll try and grab a nap once we hit the road if I need one" Aria replied as she found a seat. "And if something happens and we get jumped again, which is likely, a fresh buff at the start would be better then one that could be about to wear off." she added before grabbing and crunching into an apple.

Prometheus' eyes flicked open as Verathragna returned to the kitchen. Stretching, he got up slowly, enjoying the feel of a fresh change of clothes. Joining the others in the kitchen, he began eating in silence. Remus and Steven appeared to be hungover; he would have laughed if it wasn't going to be a considerable hindrance.

Catching Verathragnas attention, they traded words in whispers, before he handed Prometheus a set of keys. Smiling, the Titan left the house, spinning the keys around his fingers.

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Verathragna stood behind the veiled table and caught the groups attention as soon as the Titan left.

"Good morning everyone! Hope you all are rested and ready. As promised, I had a hunt in storage, and have found a few items; things I hope will help you."

Reaching underneath the cloth, he first retrieved a short bow with a deep curve in the middle. It was a deep oak colour, and came with a short, black quiver with 8 arrows. He offered it to Andrew.

"I retrieved this bow from the Crusades; it belonged to a rather keen archer. I'm sure you can make use of it."

Folding the cloth back, he next retrieved a small, glass lens, handing it to Aria.

"This disc will focus your somewhat...unorganized power, if I've heard correctly. Unfortunately, it is a one-use offer. I hope it serves you well."

Pulling out a black ledger, he handed it to Steven. It had a small, silver clasp of intricate design; a deeply complicated locking mechanism.

"This is all the notes I have on binding magic, and similar conditions such as yours. I'm sure you'll enjoy the lock!"
He winked at Steven, hoping to cheer him up.

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Nike awoke with some discomfort in her shoulder. The wound had healed, though it had left a distinct mark on her shoulder; a deep, brown scar. She padded silently to the shower, slipping past the group in the kitchen. Though she didn't want to miss her daughter's departure, she was dirty and blooded, and sore to the bone.

"This disc will focus your somewhat...unorganized power, if I've heard correctly. Unfortunately, it is a one-use offer. I hope it serves you well."

Aria took the lens in hand "A Glass Cannon eh?" The lens was actually rather pretty "Shame, it's rather pretty, but one shot at the right spot or target is worth a thousand fired at random, or least I think that how Grandpa said it.." she added as she wrapped the lens back up and stowed it away for safe keeping.

"I'm not even going to try to heal you. I doubt I'd manage to do much good. Just drink water. A lot of it. Orange juice is perhaps even better. And eat what you can manage to eat, whatever should be fine. I did use to have some painkillers, but I gave those to Vera when Aria was hurt. Besides, most brands tend to just make the hangover worse in one way or another."

It was crystal clear that Andrew was annoyed with this situation, and Steven couldn't really blamed him. At least he wasn't yelling.

"This is all the notes I have on binding magic, and similar conditions such as yours. I'm sure you'll enjoy the lock!"

Steven took the notes. He was about to explain how the forge God's powers would ruin any challenge that the lock could give, until he touched it. He was shocked when it didn't trigger his powers. It was as inert as a rock, his powers gave no clue to how to open it, yet it was crytal clear to his eyes that it was mechanical device.

Still, there were more pressing issues at hand, and Steven looked over the notes.

"Good morning everyone! Hope you all are rested and ready. As promised, I had a hunt in storage, and have found a few items; things I hope will help you."

Finally someone doing something useful. Even if it was just looking through some items in a storage.

When Andrew saw the bow, he felt somewhat pleased, not only because he had a way of attacking now, but because he enjoyed actually using a bow. Besides, this meant that they had another way of attacking, it had been useful enough down in Hades.

"I retrieved this bow from the Crusades; it belonged to a rather keen archer. I'm sure you can make use of it."

The bow was old and the shape was a bit different from the bow Andrew had used, but it would be easier to use than the former bow, as well as lighter to carry. There were 8 arrows altogether, not the largest amount, but with the right amount of skill and with a little poison, it was enough. Besides, arrows could be collected and reused, so 8 arrows didn't mean 8 shots.

"I'll take care of it," he told the Persian god. He felt the balance of it with his arm. "Is there anywhere here I'd be able to take a few test shots? I want to make sure I'm able to use it well before risking anything in a combat situation."

Nicole noticed her mother slipping past the group and heading off into some other part of the house, she looked tired and dirty. Probably going to shower or something, I'll have to be sure to say goodbye before we leave, remind her that we should talk more once all this is over.

She turned back to the rest of the group and watched as Verathragna began handing out gifts to them, notes for Steven, a bow for Andrew, and a lens for Aria. There was still four gifts covered with cloth, not enough for all of us then. She hoped there was a weapon of some sort among the gifts for her, and she wondered who would be the one to not receive anything.

Verathragna was pleased at the reception his gifts were met with. Speaking to Andrew, he shrugged.

"I don't have any targets, unfortunately. I'm sure shooting will come naturally to you, and besides. I don't think you have time to train here. Not today."

Unfolding the sheet further, he picked up a sword in it's scabbard. The pommel and guard were both a deep, dull silver, with the handle wrapped in black strips of cloth. The guard curved upwards slightly, but was otherwise plain. The blade itself was dull, though had the trade-mark wave pattern of folded steel. It was straight-bladed, edged on both sides, with the tip slightly weighted. An odd mix of Eastern and Western styles, it was plain and simple. The God presented it to Remus, still in it's scabbard.

"This sword is for you, Remus. A proper weapon, no doubt somewhat more useful than the one you carry. I hope it serves you well."

Next, he pulled out a short dagger in a black case. The handle was of bone, painted black, and gilded with gold. The blade had a wicked curve inwards, and was decorated with swirling wave patterns. He offered it to Etna, reluctant to hold it for too long.

"This was wrested from a Banshee some few hundred years ago. It makes me shiver, and not many things can claim to do so. Perhaps it will find better use in your hands."

Placing the dagger in Etna's hands, he then pulled out a small brown pouch, handing it to Able. He smiled as he did so.

"These are runestones, a few of them belonged to your father at one point. I haven't the faintest clue how they work, less what they do, but it seems fitting that they should now pass to you"

Setting the pouch down in Able's hands, he pulled away the sheet to reveal the final item. It was a shield; round with a slice cut out of the top, coloured black. On the front, painted in simple white lines, was a bird, similar to that of Vera's form. The inside had two cuffs lined with fur that allowed it to be worn with ease. It sat atop Vera's golden sword, which now had a blue ribbon tied around the base. Written in old Persian, it said "This sword forges paths, leading to and away from legends." Handing it to Vera, he smiled, grimly.

"This shield is for you, Vera. Don't neglect it for your sword; victory comes from both offense and defense. And where you are going, you will need all the protection you can get."

He brought her close and kissed her forehead, locking eyes with her. He whispered.

"I love you, Veronica. A father never was more proud of his daughter."

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The figure of Nike appeared in the hallway, coming in to lay hands on Nicole. She was dressed in soft, white pants, and a plain black top. Speaking to her, she took her own necklace off and tied it onto Nicole. It was a small spiral shell, with many thousands of holes making it almost weightless.

"This necklace was a gift from your father. I hope you see him soon, so he knows we're both safe. Good luck Nicole. I'm so happy I got to see you before you left, but it pains me to see you leave, and to know where you're going. I love you so much. Be safe."

The sound of a large van outside signaled Prometheus return, though he was content to wait until the group had made their goodbyes. The RV was a beige colour, with black panelling, and looked strange set against the rolling hills of Turkey. He sat in the driver seat, relaxing.

"Any of you guys want a blessing? It won't last forever but it could help."

Removing his hand from his forehead, Remus turned to Nicole and shook. "I'll tough it out." he said, before groaning again. His attention was then caught by Verathragna, who was apparently handing out gifts to the group.

"This sword is for you, Remus. A proper weapon, no doubt somewhat more useful than the one you carry. I hope it serves you well."

Remus drew the blade from its sheath, briefly gazed over it with unimpressed eyes and then shut it back into the sheath. "What damned use is this to me? I don't need to use swords, and he knew I already had one on top of that." he thought, frowning. "Piece of crap doesn't even look sharpened."

"This necklace was a gift from your father. I hope you see him soon, so he knows we're both safe. Good luck Nicole. I'm so happy I got to see you before you left, but it pains me to see you leave, and to know where you're going. I love you so much. Be safe."

Nicole took the necklace and put it on for a moment at a loss for words, then she hugged her mother tightly, careful to avoid squeezing her injured shoulder too much. After a moment she spoke quietly "Thank you mom, I love you too," she said, maintaining the embrace for a moment longer before letting go.

She stepped back and forced a smile, though her emotions felt rather mixed, she hadn't expected she would ever be so glad to see her mother as she was, or as she had been when Andrew had healed her. She hesitated for a moment then spoke again, "I'll see you when all this is over mom, I'm sure we'll have lots to talk about."

"I don't have any targets, unfortunately. I'm sure shooting will come naturally to you, and besides. I don't think you have time to train here. Not today."

Fair enough.

More people were handed items, and Andrew took note of what items, a sword, a dagger, some runes and a shield, as well as the lens and the notes from before. At least some of the items were useful, he didn't know about the rest. Andrew wasn't sure about Etna with a dagger though, just a better reason not to mess with her, he supposed.

The sound of a car outside turned Andrew's attention to that. If he was correct, that would be Prometheus asking them to hurry up. Hopefully, it was something better than the last van they had been in, although he doubted it would be large enough for it to be comfortable. Andrew made sure he had all his things, as well as bottles of water and a small snack, before leaving. He would have said something to the two gods, but they were busy. Andrew wasn't about to interrupt conversations between parent and daughter, either of the conversations, just to thank them for allowing them to stay.

Besides, this means I don't have to be all thankful and friendly and such.

He walked out and into the van, choosing to sit next to Prometheus, in the passenger seat. The van was larger than the former one, and in a better condition, so that was at least something. Still, he chose the seat where he'd have to interact with the least amount of people.

"Etna just got a dagger, and Remus got a better sword, I'm not taking the chance," he remarked before Prometheus got the chance to comment on it. He meant it half-way as a joke, and his voice showed hints of that. "Do we know where we are? Turkey is a pretty big place."

Prometheus returned, with an RV and Aria gathered her things and made ready to leave. On her way out she stopped in front of the two deity's "Thank you for meals, safe place to rest and gear" she directed to Verathragna, "Get well soon" she then directed at Nike before giving a polite tip of her hat to the both of them and climbing into the RV.

"And before you say anything" She started, directing this on to Prometheus "They get what they give, Nike and Vera--"Aria then proceeded to butcher Verathragna's name a few times in a vain attempt to pronounce it right "Vera's dad, where nice, so they get kindness and respect in return." she finally said, finishing her thought.

Steven read through the notes multiple times, trying to find some way out, well, some other way out. Some half finished notes at the bottom gave one potential way, but he didn't have the full passage. He couldn't dismiss other outcomes besides being freed.

None if also gave the slightest explanation as to why his mark would be be faded, but not totally vanish.

Steven heard the RV, and headed out to leave.

"Thank you two for everything you have given us," Steven said with a smile, "Also, I am sorry for threatening to shoot you."

Steven put his hand on the exhaust pipe, found everything was in good working order, barring some wear from the elements ("Where the @#$% did he find this thing?") and then sat in the back.

The interior of the RV was beige and light-blue; clearly dated, though modern enough to run reliably. At the front was the driver and passenger seat. Behind, one row of seats, which then opened up to the rest of the inside. Two bunkbeds were nestled into the sides, and along the tops of the walls were several shelves and compartments. Beyond those, a small sink, fridge and stovetop, opposite a table and accompanying couches, booth-style. At the far end was a small bathroom.

Prometheus looked over at Andrew, grinning at the joke.

"Wise move. I wonder what Etna's going to do with that dagger. Better still, I don't want to know. As to where we're going...

He pulled out a small folded map of Europe, splaying it across the dashboard.

"I'm considering either going North through Russia, and then looking for Fenrir, or accompanying Gods, traveling south through Finalnd, Sweden and Norway. Or North and then West, up through Germany, then North through Norway. The first option is somewhat faster, but I have a few friends scattered near Germany/France, and they might know something..."

Turning around to Aria, he pulled a face, mocking offense.

"Nice? I'm nice. Just because I don't have gifts for you lot. What'd you get, anyhow?"

"Nice? I'm nice. Just because I don't have gifts for you lot. What'd you get, anyhow?" Prometheus replied, faking offense.

Aria snickered "I mean they treated us like we where welcome, versus just another tool to exploit, or that we should be grateful to just be in their presence at all, hell, Nicole and Nike make me a bit jealous." she said as she pulled the cloth wrapped lens out of her bag to show the Titan "Vera's dad gave my a Focusing Lens, one shot only though, so I'll have to wait for the right target and moment to use it, or plan around the single shot and set up said moment, ether way way it's not something to just use at random."

"Wise move. I wonder what Etna's going to do with that dagger. Better still, I don't want to know. As to where we're going..."

Prometheus pulled up a map of Europe, and started talking about the possible routes.

"I'm considering either going North through Russia, and then looking for Fenrir, or accompanying Gods, traveling south through Finland, Sweden and Norway. Or North and then West, up through Germany, then North through Norway. The first option is somewhat faster, but I have a few friends scattered near Germany/France, and they might know something..."

"I'd say it depends on what the chance of them knowing anything useful is. It does sound like the safer option, but in the end, if we take the long route, and they don't know anything, we've wasted more time than we can. I'd say that unless there's is a large chance they do know something, going through all of Europe is going to be more than just wasted time."

Besides, Andrew wasn't about to admit it, but he had always wanted to travel to Russia, even taken the chance to learn the language in school. Although he hadn't really spoken much to native Russians, he was confident in that he could speak the language fluently. Even with English as wide-spread as it was, in a country like Russia there were a lot of places where it would be useful. Heck, in any country, speaking the native language would come in handy.

And I doubt anyone here speak a billion different European languages.

He continued, pointing at the map.

"There's also the fact that to get to Scandinavia from here would require driving through a lot of countries, which means customs. We look pretty suspicious, considering the whole van and fairly mixed group, so we're likely to get stopped a couple of times, and searched, I don't need to tell you how that could be exploited should our presence be known again. Besides," he pointed at Russia. "Russia has a lot of areas where people don't live at all, if we have to fight a battle, doing it in the middle of Europe would be risky. We've got a better chance of no one getting harmed if we drive through the less populated areas of Russia."

He stopped talking for a while, trying to read Prometheus, see if he was managing to convince him with this. Of course, if he had preferred to go through Europe, Andrew knew he'd be able to make that sound like the best possible option. However, with it as it was now, going through Russia really was more likely to succeed. He decided that he had let Prometheus have enough time to think through what he had said, and decided to address the final thing.

"As for information, as I said, we'd need to be pretty sure that they have that information, and you sounded far from sure. I'd say that, going from experience, Dionysus seems less interested in covering his tracks than he is in accomplishing this. Considering that there were news reports about the suicides in Italy before we got there, I'd say that we'll be just as likely to find some sort of trace of Dionysus if we pay attention to the media. If we still have access to a lot of money, getting something that connects to the internet would probably help us out a lot, and not only because people are going to be bored to death during the trip. Finally, language would be less of a problem if going through Russia, because I can speak and understand Russian."

He folded his arms, showing that he was done talking. "That's my take on it, anyways."

It's the best option. Hopefully, you understand that.

If not, then oh well. It wasn't the end of the world--- probably.

"Vera's dad gave my a Focusing Lens, one shot only though, so I'll have to wait for the right target and moment to use it, or plan around the single shot and set up said moment, ether way way it's not something to just use at random."

"It's up to you, but I'd say use it if you or anyone else are going to die if not. If you end up never using it, then that's a good thing," Andrew said, not managing to stop himself from commenting.

Well, well, how helpful I'm being today.

He didn't like the fact that if people actually listened to him, he'd be responsible for the possibly bad outcome. Andrew wasn't a leader, pretty far from it. However, if people were interested in hearing his opinion, this was the best time to share it, else he might as well not say anything at all.

Verathragna handed a shield to her; smiling grimly. On it read the words "This sword forges paths, leading to and away from legends." though in ancient Persian, preventing her from reading it. "This shield is for you, Vera. Don't neglect it for your sword; victory comes from both offense and defense. And where you are going, you will need all the protection you can get." he said. Vera took the shield with a slight sigh, repeating the mantra; "Just accept the shield and go. Just accept the shield and go..." in her head. They were just about to leave; it was a good day. She didn't even have to use the shield. All she needed to do was not blow up and it would be like the other two times she'd seen him: over.

He brought her close and kissed her forehead, locking eyes with her. She clenched her fists. He whispered "I love you, Veronica. A father never was more proud of his daughter." and she had had precisely too much. "No. You don't get to say that." she started to speak, the world fading out as though only this room and this moment existed. She couldn't even feel anything below her neck. The sounds around her started to muffle and bend into strange alien sounds as the pent up rage gave way.

"You've never been my father because you've never been there. Where were you when mom was pregnant!? Where were you when she died!? Where were you when Grandpa and Grandma were raising me!? Where were you when we didn't have enough food or couldn't pay the bills!? Where were you when they died!? All you've EVER done is show up when when it's convenient for YOU! The only times YOU do anything are when you're afraid of what I'm going to do with your precious powers; powers I never wanted! You don't GET to say you're my father; you don't GET to say you're proud! And you certainly CAN'T say you love me; it'd cut into how much you love yourself!" She screamed, just... angry.

She spun on her heels, just feeling... done with the entire conversation. She'd had quite enough of it all. She reached the door, looked around for a moment before she saw who she was looking for - Prometheus - in the RV, and called out "Hey Prometheus!" to get his attention. When she had it, she finished saying "Have a shield!" and tossing it to the Proto-God.

"There's also the fact that to get to Scandinavia from here would require driving through a lot of countries, which means customs. We look pretty suspicious, considering the whole van and fairly mixed group, so we're likely to get stopped a couple of times, and searched, I don't need to tell you how that could be exploited should our presence be known again. Besides, Russia has a lot of areas where people don't live at all, if we have to fight a battle, doing it in the middle of Europe would be risky. We've got a better chance of no one getting harmed if we drive through the less populated areas of Russia."

Steven walked forward from his seat.

"Russia and the Eastern parts of Turkey aren't the most stable of places right now," Steven noted, "And while it does have a huge amount of unpopulated areas, we could just as easily be stranded in the middle of nowhere if they attack the RV directly like the goatmen did in Australia. It also is easier to hop the borders between EU countries than it will be to go through non-EU countries."

Nicole watched Vera storm off, feeling rather awkward about the whole affair. Part of her knew that Vera was justified in her opinion of her father, though at the same time she wished that Vera would be able to reconcile with him. Still it wasn't her business, though she was more than willing to talk with Vera about it later if she wanted to.

She turned to her mother "Sorry mom, but I have to go now, I'll see you again when all this is over I promise," she said, hugging her mother again briefly before turning to head out to the van, picking a seat at random and sitting down. The others seemed to be discussing which route to take, though she didn't have much of an opinion on the matter.

Vera seemed pretty angry, but Andrew didn't comment on it, as Steven started speaking.

"Russia and the Eastern parts of Turkey aren't the most stable of places right now.

Andrew sighed mentally when he heard the first part.

It seems to be a trend to believe that Russia is an unstable place. Sure, it's large, and there are problems like that, but it's hardly anything that stands out compared to other countries.

He considered just stopping Steven there, but decided to wait it out.

And while it does have a huge amount of unpopulated areas, we could just as easily be stranded in the middle of nowhere if they attack the RV directly like the goatmen did in Australia. It also is easier to hop the borders between EU countries than it will be to go through non-EU countries."

Surprisingly, some of those are things I thought about myself.

Andrew hadn't expected that Steven had managed to actually piece together a couple of good arguments for not going through Russia. Well, mostly good, the first argument was still based on a large amount of cultural bias.

As far as I know, the problems in Turkey are related to a minority as well.

Still, with only this, Andrew could easily dismiss the claims. "Firstly, Russia and Turkey isn't as unstable as you seem to think, it's not like either is a third world nation, nor will we stay in either long enough to get caught up in something like that. Not to mention, Europe isn't too calm either, considering what Dionysus has been doing, so it'd hardly better there. As for the borders, it highly depends on which country, and as most of us aren't Europeans, they won't let us through easily either way. If we only go through a few, at least we can have Etna affect them or something, we can't do that for every single border from here to Norway through Europe."

Now, how to deal with the last one? Obviously, Steven had point there, and that was why Andrew had to dismiss that as well.

Oh, I know.

Andrew feigned a slight empathetic tone. "And, although you do have a point about getting stranded, don't forget what we're trying to do. We can either make sure no more innocent people die by staying away from populated areas, or risk their lives to make our trip a little easier. We're fighting against gods, I don't think this is going to get much less difficult no matter what happens, so we'll have to be prepared for anything. Now, I said unpopulated areas, clearly I didn't mean places where there's no one around for miles, simply places where we'd have to walk for a while, an hour at most, to find settlement. If we get lost, we'll have to use our wits to proceed, but it hardly means that we'd risk a lot, apart from a walk and having to find something else to use for transportation. Besides," he finished off.

"If we were doing this the easy way, risking people's life in the process, we might as well take a plane."

Hopefully, that'll remind you of why we're taking this approach at all.

Aria was gonna say something, but Steven showed up and he and andrew started discussing travel routs, and with her limited knowledge on such matter outside the US, she decided to stay out of it, mostly "I vote for what ever keeps other people out of our fight, unless there's a path that takes us through Athens Texas, then I suggest a big neon sign on the roof saying 'com at me bro'" she said as she put the lens away and waited to get under way, least until Vera stormed up and threw her shield at Prometheus.

"Vera...wait! That's...not what I meant..."

Verathragna just stared as his daughter stormed out. There was true hurt in his eyes, yet he knew in his heart he had somewhat deserved it. Reserving his dignity, he just watched from the doorway as everyone piled into the RV.

Nike hugged Nicole and waved goodbye, beaming a broad smile. Passing Verathragna, she stepped outside and kept waving, calling out in a loud voice.

"Good luck everyone! Trust in each other and you will succeed!"

Turning back inside the two Gods spoke at the doorway. Nike put her hand on his shoulder, and he hung his head in shame. The group couldn't hear what was said, but Verathragna's slumped, defeated figure slunk back into the house, and Nike lingered in the walkway a moment longer.

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Prometheus caught the shield Vera threw at him, looking it over before stowing it next to him. As Vera climbed in, he simply muttered, not wanting to provoke her.

"It's a nice shield..."

As the rest of the group piled into the RV, he listened to Andrew and Steven's points. Both had a good argument, though Andrew was somewhat more eloquent. However, keeping innocents out of their path was an important point to Prometheus, and he wanted to take Andrew's route. But he was fair, and put it to a vote, passing around a page from his journal and a pen; first to Andrew.

"Tell you what. I'll start driving North anyway, we have some time before we reach a decision. Just write which way you want to go and we'll take the majority vote."

Looking at Aria, he grinned. At least someone was enthusiastic.

"Now now, we don't want you going Supernova again. I wonder who's in Russia anyhow...I know Ares beats around there..."

Pulling away, he waved to Nike, putting on his sunglasses. The small dirt road joined onto a wider, formal road with sparse traffic. Turning North, he flicked through some CD's Verathragna had given him, before settling on some mellow instrumentals.

Calling out to the group, he wanted to give people something to do; it was clear some of them were tense, and purpose often helped the Titan to think.

"Hey Steven, lay a hand on anything mechanical inside to make sure it works; tap, stove, bathroom, fridge etc. Remus, Aria; can you start putting any food we have into storage? Everyone else; put your bags away and take five"

"Now now, we don't want you going Supernova again."

"This wouldn't be a 'Super Nova' so much as a 'Big Ass Laser of Smitey Death and Pain', or for something more bad ass sounding, an 'Eraser Cannon', because, I watch to much anime" Aria commented glibly as stowed her things and then started to take stock of what food they had and what needed to go in the fridge and what didn't. Part of her wanted to ask Vera what set her off, but didn't, didn't seem like a good time to bring it up with her upset as she was.

"Tell you what. I'll start driving North anyway, we have some time before we reach a decision. Just write which way you want to go and we'll take the majority vote."

Oh great. Democracy, because everyone's opinion is important, or whatever.

He couldn't really say much, it was a somewhat reasonable way of doing it... only that he didn't really trust in others making the right decisions. Andrew was slightly disappointed that his obviously superior arguments hadn't managed to fully convince Prometheus, though. He wrote "Through Russia" quickly on the note, and handed it and the pen over to someone else, before realizing that he had just added to the (incorrect) stereotype of doctors having illegible handwriting. Andrew hadn't considered it, just written it down like he usually did. The problem was that while he understood his note-taking handwriting well, no one else did. It was mostly a row of neat, but not very distinguishable loops and letters. It was to save time, really, when writing a lot of notes.

It should be fine, it wasn't that illegible. And the R in Russia is pretty clearly an R.

Besides, he was too proud to do anything else than decide to let it stay that way, worst case scenario they still knew what he wanted. No one could be thick enough not to get that after what he had just argued.

If someone comments on the handwriting though...

Hopefully, people knew not to waste their time like that.

"Hey Steven, lay a hand on anything mechanical inside to make sure it works; tap, stove, bathroom, fridge etc. Remus, Aria; can you start putting any food we have into storage? Everyone else; put your bags away and take five."

Andrew decided not to mention that he had some food on his person, it wasn't much either way, and not very perishable unless he spent days eating it. Instead, he decided to close his eyes and listen to the music Prometheus had chosen, it wasn't terrible, although he'd easily prefer Bach.

Steven had to admit Andrew had a good point there, although since everything they had run into had proven to be vulnerable to bullets, he wouldn't mind the police taking on what ever they will run into next. Also, he feared rebels with RPGs then anything the gods could throw at them. Steven also started to wonder if humanity should know about the Gods...

"Tell you what. I'll start driving North anyway, we have some time before we reach a decision. Just write which way you want to go and we'll take the majority vote."

"Well that solves that," Steven noted grimly.

"Hey Steven, lay a hand on anything mechanical inside to make sure it works; tap, stove, bathroom, fridge etc.

"Alright," Steven said, walking back, putting his hand on everything. The fridge, stove, and tap were all in working order. They had some erosion, but should remain functional for as long as this group could need it. Steven then opened the door to the bathroom.

After getting over the smell, Steven put the side of his hand on the whitest bit of the toilet. The flushing mechanism was broken, the waste container was cracked, and he was pretty sure it was clogged. Steven knew he could use duct tape to fix the first two problems (not that he really wanted to) but he had no way to unclog the thing.

Steven stepped out of the bathroom and then instantly started to wipe his hand under the tap.

"Don't use the toilet."

It was a bitter pill to swallow.

The news concerning the Morrigan, the gift of the dagger, Nike's little gift... Would this turn into a war? Etna stared intently at the dagger as she sat in the RV. She didn't know why, but it bothered her. Etna was almost tempted into reacting like Vera did, except it wouldn't have been wise to throw a sharp object around. Even if there was a tempting target about. Etna scowled. It was an unwanted gift, an unneeded gift. Remus, Andrew, Steven, Vera and the rest could handle the violence. But wasn't that a little hypocritical? She sighed. There simply wasn't any point hanging onto hate anymore. It was petty. She didn't have to care about Andrew's petty antics, anyway, or the rest of the group's. Of course there was still hope, the deity of that, if there was such a thing, was still alive.

At least, to her knowledge.

When the pen and journal made its way around to Etna, she scribbled a simple sentence: "Whichever way is the quickest."
However, in addition to that, she also wrote another couple of a sentence next to it: "'Victory in death' - another phrase written on the token. Is that another part of that oath?"

Sure, it was pretty overt, but they didn't have the time for subtlety and such a thing wasn't needed, regardless.

When Nicole received the pen and journal she had to think for a moment, both had some reasonable points but Andrew's seemed the better ones. It would be best to keep innocents from getting involved if they could, she remembered what Loki had done on the plane and shuddered for a moment. Normal people would have no idea how to handle anything they might run across, people would panic, get hurt or killed, and even if the authorities got involved they would be far out of their league. No Russia was definitely the best way to go, although she knew very little about what Russian myths they might encounter there.

She wrote her vote down and passed the journal on, wondering how everyone else would vote.

Prometheus made a face at Steven's comments.

"What do you need to fix it? When we stop in town to refuel one of us will go grab some tools."

He wanted to minimize time spent in towns as much as he could. The possibility they were being followed was large enough to warrant attention. Especially if Artemis was not on their side.

Are there sides to this? I guess there are...

He wondered about the old God that had gored the two Morrigan. Why join Dionysus? What was he offering them? Alas, the Titan kept these questions to himself, forever without answers.

At least we have some form of clue...

He spoke to Etna.

"Have you translated any more of that token yet?"

"What do you need to fix it? When we stop in town to refuel one of us will go grab some tools."

"We mostly need a plunger to unclog it, I can fix the rest with duct tape," Steven noted, "But I do need a new box of tools anyway. Till then, we are going to need to stop for any emergencies."

Andrew wanted to enjoy the music, he really did. And he had, for a short while, managing to ignore everyone else, and even relax. Then this song had started, repetitive chords, an annoyingly inconsistent rhythm, and especially that one badly tuned guitar. That damn guitar. Andrew winced when whoever played it managed to make this... sound that clearly wasn't supposed to be there. "That's it," he muttered, annoyed. He wasn't really in a bad mood, but if this continued... "Next song." Andrew was about to sit up and reach for the car stereo to change the track himself, but stopped when he heard Steven speak.

"We mostly need a plunger to unclog it, I can fix the rest with duct tape. But I do need a new box of tools anyway. Till then, we are going to need to stop for any emergencies."

He hadn't been following the conversation, but it was clearly about the toilet. Although he had mentioned the box of tools, it sounded like Steven was intending to repair it with... duct tape.

I somehow doubt any of us would be happy to clean toilet content off the floor because Steven wants to make an easy job of it.

"I could fix you with a duct tape, you know," Andrew commented. "If you got injured. However, it'd be a bad idea, at best a very temporary solution, at worst it would create a disgusting mess no one wants to clean up." Was that a little too rude?

At least he'll get the point.

Besides, Andrew honestly didn't care. With that said, Andrew leaned forward and kept skipping tracks, until he found something acceptable again.

"I could fix you with a duct tape, you know. If you got injured. However, it'd be a bad idea, at best a very temporary solution, at worst it would create a disgusting mess no one wants to clean up."

Steven turned to Andrew, "It's not meant to be a long term solution, because I don't plan on to be on this RV for a long term, nor do I think who ever owns this is going to be getting it back. The problem is a leak and one part got broken off from another part. It will keep things working for a few weeks. There are better solutions, but the only tool at the moment we have is this."

Steven held up the duct tape.

Aria finished putting the food away and locking everything down, as per 'RV packing protocol', then sat down next to Vera, where she was handed a piece of paper, apparently they really where voting on what rout to take, which earned an eye roll and a frown from her followed by her writing 'Which ever one is fastest and safest' then handed it to Vera.

Aria let a few moments pass, "So ... what happened? You seem pretty pissed off about something." she finally asked, though casually.

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