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

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Aria whispered one final farewell as the fire over took them, also bowing her head in respect, only lifting it when Vidarr came over to them, also noticing as she looked up, the ghosts of Remus and Able where gone, moved on she presumed.

"You are friends of Able? Did he fight well?", The Gods tone carried with it a great pain, a pain she knew all to well from the loss of her own family. "I am no warrior, so I don't know about well, but he fought bravely, even at the end, he showed no fear that I could see" she replied.

Andrew spent the couple of minutes in silence, almost not looking over at the pyres at all. He hadn't been told to go away, just that it was okay, and that he had to make sure the others were okay. He didn't think he could, but Andrew nodded in reply. Since he hadn't taken the chance to walk over to the pyres while they were unlit like everyone else had done, he just formulated a goodbye in his head. He doubted they would have been able to hear it even if he had said it aloud, considering that they were dead.

Remus and Able. For what it's worth, I'm sorry I can't seem to show you the respect you deserve. You did well and you died for a good cause. Fare well in the afterlife.

Was he just trying to act like the others had? Did it even mean anything? Yes, it meant something. With the outrages he had been responsible for, first Steven's and then Nicole's, the latter of which had actually defended him, he felt like it was an obligation. Perhaps even his own will. It didn't make him feel better doing so, it actually made him feel sick, and when the flames had burned out, he wanted to leave. However, the god who seemed to be Able's father approached him and the others, and spoke.

"You are friends of Able? Did he fight well?"

Andrew didn't meet the eyes of the god, but he nodded. He could do this, at least.

"Yes, he fought bravely and skillfully. They both did." After saying that, he left. Andrew was considering going far away, to somewhere he could be completely alone. However, instead he entered the van. It seemed to be pretty crowded, but he spotted Nicole, and he wanted to thank her for speaking her mind to Steven, even if she kept insisting he was grieving, and even if she had yelled out that he had been terrified. However, both her and Vera seemed to be feeling very much down. They looked as if they were about to cry.

They have it a lot worse than me.

He realized that now. Even if he was feeling a bit sick, and numb, and cold, that probably wasn't anything when it came to feeling that sad. Grieving. And Vera was still hurt. Andrew wanted to say something, to pay back Nicole who had helped him. What to say, though?

I should be able to come up with something.

"It's okay," he found himself saying. "They didn't suffer." From what he had seen of the bodies, they had most likely died instantly. "And they died protecting the people they care about." He wondered if they were blaming themselves as well. Andrew knew he couldn't have done anything. Nor could anyone else, done was done, no one could turn back time. No mortals, at least. Perhaps he should add something more in that regard. "It's no one's fault but the weather god's. No one could predict that they would be hit by the lightning, anything you think would have hindered it most likely wouldn't have." He turned to Vera. "Do you want me to heal you? You are pretty badly hurt."

It wasn't much, and it would probably just earn him their scorn. However, if it helped just a tiny bit, that was enough, since Andrew had only said it in order to repay Nicole, and perhaps because Prometheus had told him to.

"Are you ok V?" Nicole asked. She wanted to say she was fine, but she couldn't bring herself to lie like that. On the other hand, she couldn't bring herself to say what she truly felt; vocalizing it would only make it more real. "No-" she said honestly before continuing; "-but I will be." The last words rang hollow even as she said them. Would she? Could she?

It all seemed surreal in the worst kind of way.

Before Nicole could say anything more, Andrew arrived. To little pleasure she might add. Truthfully, while she'd gained a certain degree of respect for the healer, she didn't really want to hear his opinions on death. They'd probably be realistic enough, but they'd lacked the empathy and feeling that needed to be there so soon after the wound had formed. "It's okay," he said; "They didn't suffer."

Vera took little comfort in those words; no one really knew what dying felt like. How could they know what suffering they felt. Besides, even if they felt nothing as everything was taken from them, that only served to prove how fragile and precious life was; increasing the abject horror at their companions demises.

"It's no one's fault but the weather god's. No one could predict that they would be hit by the lightning, anything you think would have hindered it most likely wouldn't have." Andrew continued; strike too close to the issue at heart for comfort. There may have been a grain of truth in it, but it did little to help. If she HAD been on her toes and turned into wind form, she might have been able to do something; shunting them out of the way at the last moment or launching dust into the air to intercept the blast. Heck; in warrior form, she could have acted like a lightning rod; drawing the bolt somewhere safer. Nearly any of her forms would have been useful save her normal self.

Still, she didn't say anything; what could she say?

"Do you want me to heal you? You are pretty badly hurt." Andrew finished. Vera nodded, uttering her thanks, though a moment later she couldn't even recall the exact words. She'd nearly forgotten the physical trauma of the battle and, for the first time since she'd awoke, she felt somewhat thankful; at least one of them had his head on, even if it was a shame he couldn't grieve.

"Like you have the balls," Steven thought.

"Getting angry won't solve anything, and neither will threatening people. Andrew was fucking terrified by the storm, you should be glad he was able to force himself to come outside to help at all, not yelling at him about a goddamn steering wheel!"

Steven forced himself to be quiet, to not yell more or use this to call Andrew even more of a coward. Part of him knew she was right.

"You are friends of Able? Did he fight well?"

Steven turned to the new God. He breathed in and...

"Yes, he fought bravely and skillfully. They both did..."

Steven cringed hard when he heard Andrew talk.

"They tried to take that God in a melee," Steven said, trying to ignore Andrew and remember, "Able... Able managed to spear the God in the chest. However, the God... hit him with this mace... then blasted them both with lightning. However, that opening Able gave us was sever enough for the rest of us to exploit. We would of never took it down if it wasn't for them."

Steven looked down in the mace, still in his hand, suddenly disgusted he was still holding it. It was thrown to the ground.

"-but I will be."

Nicole nodded, she felt about the same, though it didn't feel like she would be okay later, but she knew she would be. Before she could reply though Andrew entered and started speaking, making an attempt at being reassuring.

"It's no one's fault but the weather god's. No one could predict that they would be hit by the lightning, anything you think would have hindered it most likely wouldn't have."

"That's not true," she muttered "I could have, I could have made the lightning miss them I know I could have."

It felt worse to say it out loud, like she was admitting it was true, but at the same time it wasn't just in her head anymore. She wondered if Vera felt the same way, like she could have done something but didn't. Andrew's earlier words about their suffering weren't much comfort either, he might even be right about no one being able to save them, but that didn't make her feel any less guilty.

Vera agreed to get healed, and Andrew took care of her injuries without a word. He was getting hungry again, but he didn't think this was a good moment to go find a snack. Despite his best attempts, neither Vera, nor Nicole seemed to react well to what he had said. It made him feel powerless, like he had felt before when trying to cheer others up. It was something he had never been able to simulate, the closest thing he could manage was the comfort of a doctor, friendly, but also professional and distant.

"That's not true. I could have, I could have made the lightning miss them I know I could have."

Nicole said. Andrew wasn't sure what she was trying to say, although if she was able to control the lightning, was that connected to that one bolt of lightning striking close before?

Not important.

It seemed like Nicole was blaming herself, feeling like she should have acted differently. Perhaps Vera felt like that as well, they were both resourceful, so it wasn't impossible that they could have done something, had they known. Of course, that was the important part. No one knew. Andrew was reminded of something he had considered back in Italy, when resting between events, relating to his powers. He spoke aloud, although it might not help them, it would at least shed a different perspective on it.

"This might not seem relevant at first, but I am going somewhere with it. I've met Apollo twice, once a year ago, when I left the moment I saw him, and once almost two months ago. The second time, I listened long enough for him to prove who he was, then left. He doesn't even know what I sound like. Then, a few days later, a young girl was brought in, having been in a car accident. I wasn't in charge of her treatment, but I was assisting the doctor who was going to operate on her. Even if the treatment of her as she was brought into surgery was exactly by the book, a prime example of emergency treatment, her injuries killed her. It wasn't my responsibility, nor my fault, and I didn't think much of it. But then, on this trip, I learned that I have healing powers that would have saved her, and I realized, if I had taken the time to listen to Apollo back then, I might have learned of my powers. I could have saved her, had I chosen to listen."

He didn't like admitting that, but it was hardly keeping him up. Not when there was nothing to be done but to remember it, and not make the same mistake. Still, there was a clear hint of regret in his voice as he spoke. Andrew continued.

"However, whether or not I could have saved her doesn't matter. Because, even if I could go back and redo it, I still wouldn't have known about it. My memories would be the same as they were then, and I would have acted the exact same way. You can't blame yourself for not knowing when the unimaginable happens. All you can do is learn from it. If you really feel like it's your fault, or like you could have saved them, remember the feeling, and use it to save someone else. This is probably not my place to say..."

He hesitated. "But I'm sure you will manage." Andrew sat down, opposite of them. There was something about their mourning that made him feel calmer, as horrible at that could sound. It was just a remainder of the mask of the reliable and friendly doctor, but it made him add a little more.

"And if you don't, I'm sure someone will help you. I'll easily admit that I can't give either of you the comfort you need, and all I've said probably sound like just empty words." He didn't continue, just leaned backwards, staring at the ceiling. He hadn't realized how exhausted he was before now. And right now, he had been admitting his own mistakes, in order to benefit others. So... strange. He was still feeling sick, and he closed his eyes, if someone spoke he would hear it, but he tried to relax a little at least.

Empty eyes met empty eyes. Prometheus' had no warmth in them, making the weight on her shoulder seem more like a formality than anything else. Or even his hand was there just so he had a grip on her, given his words.

"Come with me. Do you know how to torture?"

"No..." That question threw Etna off. Of course she didn't know about any of that crap! But she could learn, did she want to learn? Did she even want to be a torturer? Those questions were irreverent.

Prometheus wouldn't have suggested it if it wasn't necessary, right?

Etna steeled herself for the grim duty. If torturing the enemy god was what was needed, she would do it. Able and Remus had given their lives, after all, it would be an insult to give anything less to the cause of stopping Dionysus.

Prometheus and Etna walked over to the Storm God, the Titan kneeling down beside him. His breathing was still hard and fast; his robes stained black and red. There was fear in his eyes, though he held his tongue. Prometheus spoke, motioning for Etna to kneel beside him. His iron grip planted Teshub firmly to the ground.

"You're going to die, Teshub. Vidarr is going to take you and kill you. You know this."

Teshub remained silent, his eyes darting to and fro. Prometheus looked at Etna and back down at the god, indicating she should begin.

"What does Dionysus want with Fenrir? With you? With all of this!?"

He fought hard to keep his voice low, but there was terrible anger under the surface, making it crack and waver. Teshub still did not speak, though stared intently at Etna's knife.

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Vidarr listened to the others, watching as Nicole and Andrew slunk back into the van to console Vera, and themselves. Nodding, he look at both Steven and Aria, stern and resolute. He was glad his son died a warrior.

"That is good. They died for a noble cause; and will be remembered as such..."

The pyre continued to burn brightly behind them; fixed against the pale sky, crackling. Glancing again at Aria, his brow furrowed. Her features were somewhat familiar, or at least reminiscent...

"You, girl. From whose line are you born?"

There was a few brief moments of silence after Vidarr seemed to approve of Able and Remus dieing a warrior's death. Fitting given the culture that worshiped him.

"You, girl. From whose line are you born?" the god had a look on his face as though he'd seen her before but wasn't sure where.

"My mother is Freya, though I don't actually know much about her past a five minute meeting at the star of this quest and what little I was able to read in the down time between stops" Aria replied, then paused a moment "She said she thought I was dead, but didn't have time to tell me what happened. Would you happen to know anything about what happened to make her think that?" Aria added, trying to, hopefully get a little bit of info on why she was adopted and not with her biological family.

"And if you don't, I'm sure someone will help you. I'll easily admit that I can't give either of you the comfort you need, and all I've said probably sound like just empty words."

Nicole sat silently and thought for a bit after Andrew finished speaking, she knew on some level that he was right, though it didn't change how she was feeling much. It felt odd to hear him mention a failure of his though, he always seemed to act like he was superior, at least he did since they had gotten back from the underworld. Andrew looked almost sick in some ways, for all his insistence that he wasn't grieving it was easy to see that this had affected him in some way.

"No its ok, thanks for trying at least, it helps a little," she said after a bit, if nothing else she knew she would be fine eventually. And he was definitely right about one thing, she wouldn't let this sort of thing happen again, not ever.

She knelt as instructed and looked at Teshub's darting eyes. Was that fear? What was so special about the dagger she held? The Storm God eyed it with intent. Of course, this was the perfect moment to find out. Etna briefly reassured herself, 'This has nothing to do with emotion, just information.' Never mind the deaths of Able and Remus, even if they had survived, that wouldn't change the fact that they needed information from the enemy god. And well... He would pay for the torture he had inflicted on the group - the pain of losing Able and Remus. That was a definite fact. However, there was no time for angry or rage or any of that, only torture. Etna decided to start the work on Teshub's right eye, since his eyes had stared at the dagger so much and it would probably be best to make sure there was plenty left to torture afterwards. Without any thoughts, or any emotion, she plunged the dagger into the deity's right eye, but not too deeply. Wouldn't want to harm the brain, if there was one.

Prometheus held the God down as Etna's blade sank into his eye. Ichor welled up and his eye sizzled; green tendrils of smoke rising from the wound. He began to scream loudly, but Prometheus quickly laid his arm over Teshub's mouth. Waiting for his fit to subside, he spoke in a hushed tone.

"What. Is. He. Doing?!"

Raising his arm slightly, the God simply whimpered in pain. Sighing, the Titan laid a hand on Etna's and twisted, once again covering the gods mouth. His legs kicked and writhed, his other eye welling with tears, more smoke, more sizzling. Again uncovering his mouth, the God spoke.

"He promised me Zeus's place! Power! Recognition! But I don't know how he's doing it! Please, stop!"

The Titan looked at Etna.

"You believe him?"

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Vidarr nodded as Aria spoke; he could see the semblance of her mother there, though the girls questions meant nothing to him.

"I'm sorry, I don't know the answers to your questions. We have been busy; all of us. There are some that say Ragnarok is coming..."

Reflecting upon the still burning pyre, he spoke.

"For some it is too late. But I...we...must prepare and endure. In case you fail. Where are the others? I have news of Dionysus."

Offering his arm out to clasp Aria's, he showed respect for the girl of the North.

"No its ok, thanks for trying at least, it helps a little,"

Nicole told him after a while. Vera didn't speak at all. No matter what, he couldn't grasp this emotion, it seemed. He could build up something to say, use all the elements of an argument, and it still did nothing. The thanks from Nicole bore no weight behind it, he knew what lacked. This was far from the first time he had found himself unable to console someone, truly make them feel better. All he could do was sit there. Again.

I guess there's no sense in trying anymore.

He knew that feeling too well. Andrew decided that he had to go to the next part of the deaths, the practical part of it. Having lost two fighters, they were now down 7 people counting Prometheus. He had a limited amount of arrows, even more so now that the weather god had managed to render two of them useless. Etna couldn't, or at least refused to fight, although her mind control power was still very much useful. Steven had a habit of acting without thinking at all, and he apparently had a really nasty temper.

Acting like that, he's going to get killed next.

That was very much possible. Even so, they couldn't afford to lose someone else. Their physically strongest and sturdiest demigods had been killed off, just like that, they didn't need the mechanic to die right afterwards.

This isn't looking very good.

Not at all. Andrew, unlike some of the others, had been fully aware of the factor of death in this. He also knew that his powers were limited, and that he should be using them partly for offensive reasons. The largest benefit the arrows had was the fact that he could poison them, after all, a well-aimed shot wouldn't kill most of the creatures they had been facing, and in some situations, he wouldn't be able to afford using several. However, it wasn't the combat issues that was dragging him down. Andrew was very intelligent, he would be able to figure out a good balance.

Most of all, the thing that kept coming back as he thought about this, about Able's and Remus' deaths, was the fact that no one apart from Prometheus knew the motivation behind all of this. Not how he was doing it, and not what he was trying to achieve. Why was he doing it? Why was there two sides? And most of all, why would any god, worshiped by humans, want to kill them? Was that really what was going on?

Dionysus is having humans commit suicide for the sake of power. Loki wouldn't have killed those people on the plane if we hadn't been there.

Were they just caught up in a war between the gods? No, not even a war, if it was a war more of them would have fought, wouldn't they?

We don't even know what our side wants to achieve, just that we would be heroes. Whose heroes? Whatever it is, I'm going to find it out. I want to know what Able and Remus died for, and I want to know if it was really worth it.

Even if they weren't being tricked or mislead, even if they really were on the side that protected humans, more information would help them out, of that, Andrew was sure. He wasn't about to ask Prometheus, thought. The titan claimed not to know anything, and he had refused to answer Andrew's questions before, would it really be different now? No. Probably not. Andrew had ammunition this time, he could use the deaths as a way to emotionally blackmail Prometheus. Make him tell them.

But he didn't want to. Prometheus had been crying under the funeral, and if he really was telling the truth, and didn't know anything, it would be ripping into emotions for nothing. Even he knew how sick that was, and even if he had done it accidentally, he wasn't going to do it on purpose. He wouldn't do it yet, at least. He had another idea that could, very much perhaps, give him information about this, and about a couple of other things he needed to know.

I didn't talk to Apollo back then, and that turned out to be a mistake. It's risky, but we're already in a very risky situation.

It was a ridiculous action, but the coldness compelled him to do it, almost. Who was he doing it for? Himself? No, he was putting himself in possible danger. Everyone else, too. Still. Andrew calmed himself completely down, and concentrated, keeping his eyes shut, and obviously not folding his hands. He just sat there, and then, at some point, he started thinking about what he wanted his father to hear.

Apollo, it's Andrew Miller, your son. If you can even hear this... I need to talk to you, in private. Just the two of us. I have questions I want answered, and I would appreciate it if you could answer them. I might also have a deal. I can't promise anything, but I'll attempt to make it worth your time and effort.

In the end, he didn't really know Apollo. Not apart from the few myths he had taken the time to read, and what Prometheus had said. He hadn't spent enough time with the god either, to be able to pick out much. However, if he really was similar to Andrew, then this might get him to show up.

Provided, of course, that a thing like this even worked.

It took a second for Aria to figure out when he offered his arm to her, but when it clicked she took it with out further hesitation. The answer she got was unfortunate, but not entirely surprising, she figured her mother would be the only one with the answers she needed from the beginning.

"I think they're ether inside or questioning that god" she said, in answer to the gods question "If your in a hurry I can relay the message"

"You believe him?"

Etna furrowed her brow. What was it that was said about torture? That most information was made up, just to make the torture stop? Something like that, at least. Either way, it really didn't matter and she didn't really buy it anyway. Etna just couldn't imagine the exchange between the two being as simple as a trade: power in return for cooperation. Or maybe she was overthinking it? Either way, it didn't matter. It only meant another plunge of the knife for Teshub.

"No, no I don't." She stated.

Steven walked over to the storm God, seeing Etna plunge the knife straight into his eye.

"He promised me Zeus's place! Power! Recognition! But I don't know how he's doing it! Please, stop!"

"You believe him?"

"I wouldn't," Steven said, walking towards both of them, "While I want to make this God suffer for what he has done, torture will not get any kind of reliable information. For humans at least, they will say anything, believe anything, do anything they feel will make the pain stop."

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Prometheus didn't turn to acknowledge Steven, for fear of relinquishing his grip on the God, but simply nodded at his words and spoke, eyeing off the God.

"You may be right. Damn it, we can't know for sure..."

Neither Steven nor Etna believed the God, and Prometheus bore down on him once more. Etna showed her displeasure with another plunge of the knife, this time into the other eye. The God screamed again, Prometheus failing to muffle him. The scream rang out and was heard by all.

"How is he doing it?!"

His voice was no longer low, but deep and forceful, loud in the Gods ear. The pain caused Teshub to twitch and wail, words pouring out of his mouth in quick succession.

"Please! I don't know, he just wants Fenrir. I don't know anything!"

Prometheus sighed and called over Vidarr, withdrawing the ichor-stained knife and returning it to Etna. There was nothing more the God would say.

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Vidarr nodded and spoke to Aria.

"We thought he was just after Fenrir, so we guarded him day and night. That's when we heard it, a deep bellow from the sea. We sent half to go investigate, and that's when he broke through...I think...I think he has released the world serpent. We were fighting and that's when I was summoned. It is Ragnarok, but he is perverting it, using it for himself. And he is powerful...very powerful...somehow..."

Prometheus called the God over, and Vidarr once again clasped Aria's arm, before waving her farewell. Walking over to the God, he grabbed him by the hair and nodded to the Titan, Etna and Steven.

"Good luck. Don't let Able's death be for nothing."

Hoisting the God up, the two disappeared in a flash of lightning, leaving the earth scorched in it's wake.

Prometheus shepherded the two back into the van, talking as he went. The didn't need the burden of torture on their minds for the rest of the journey, though his words lacked any emotional investment.

"Don't dwell on it. Forget and move on."

Clambering into the drivers seat, he started the van without a word, and began driving North into Russia.

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Far away, on the island of Mykonos, two men were downing vodka as the sun went down, lounging in a private villa, surrounded by beautiful women. One was dressed in a plain white shirt and pants, the other, a casual grey suit. Both sported similar features, though the man in the suit was somewhat more feminine, yet impossibly attractive.

Frowning, Apollo got up and straightened his suit, motioning for the other to put his drink down.

"I think Andrew just prayed to me... pack your gear and get the plane ready; this'll be all sorts of fun."

With that, he stood at the sunset and swallowed his drink, wiping his hands on a towel engraved with the letter Alpha.

About time someone invited me. I was beginning to think they forgot about the second twin.

As Vidarr left, Aria went inside and the RV was under way once more. "we're to late to do anything about Fenrir" she said after a minute "Vidarr left rather concerning report on things in the north. Fenrir broke lose, they are fighting it, which is what he was doing before he was summoned here, but, he also thinks The Serpent of Midgar is free as well. In his exact words 'it's Ragnarok'. That's not all ether, Dio some how has control of the situation, so while it is very much the opening of Ragnarok, he is preventing it from hitting its full stride, and 'using it for him self'." as Aria relayed the report Vidarr left, fear could be heard creeping into her tone. "We need a plan, an actual plan."

Nicole heard a scream of pain from outside the van, and dropped her book. She turned around and stood up, startled by the noise but unsure of how to react, had someone else been hurt? Aria entered the van, seeming worried but not panicked, and spoke.

"...We need a plan, an actual plan."

"What was that screaming?" Nicole asked, "Was anyone hurt?"

She didn't know much about Norse mythology, but she knew Ragnarok was their apocalypse, certainly not a good thing but how did Dio plan to use it to his advantage? Would it only kill off the Norse gods? If so she supposed that might leave Dio in a position of greater influence, or maybe he had other intentions. She shook her head, it didn't matter, all that did was that they stop him, they had given too much now to turn back; and she would not fail anyone again like she had Remus and Able.

Did it... work?

Some part of Andrew wanted to believe that it had. He had felt that there were a connection... or had he? Wasn't it just his mind tricking him?

I guess that all it takes is waiting on something that may or may not happen. How wonderful.

With that, he intended to lean back and go to sleep, he was sitting in one of the beds so it would hardly be uncomfortable. However, a pained scream could be heard, and although he had not heard the weather god speak, he figured it was his. After all, no one else sounded like that, not in the group. Andrew's reaction to it was to just ignore it for now. Right afterwards, the others entered the van, and another lightning bolt was heard, although it had less effect on him now that he had calmed down. Prometheus started the car, and Andrew used that chance to lie down completely on the bed, closing his eyes again. Aria spoke.

"we're to late to do anything about Fenrir. Vidarr left rather concerning report on things in the north. Fenrir broke lose, they are fighting it, which is what he was doing before he was summoned here, but, he also thinks The Serpent of Midgar is free as well. In his exact words 'it's Ragnarok'. That's not all ether, Dio some how has control of the situation, so while it is very much the opening of Ragnarok, he is preventing it from hitting its full stride, and 'using it for him self'. We need a plan, an actual plan."

Figures that there would be even worse news.

It was bad, it really was. And while Andrew did think a plan was in order, he honestly couldn't think of anything to say on the matter. His knowledge of Norse mythology wasn't that great, and they knew too little to actually plan anything. Annoyingly, Andrew had no suggestions. Not a single one. Not at the moment, anyways, he would certainly be thinking about it until one surfaced. Still, this was just the tip of the iceberg, and, as he had realized before, they didn't know how bad the consequences would be yet.

Apollo better show up.

"What was that screaming? Was anyone hurt?"

Nicole asked. Andrew wondered if he should reply, Etna and Prometheus would know more about that, if he had gotten the situation right from when Prometheus had approached her. She had a knife, after all, and the god had certainly sounded like he was in pain, it wasn't that hard for a doctor to recognize pain in someone's voice. Still, Andrew figured he might as well state it.

"Probably the god who attacked us," he said, still lying in a state of relaxation, deep in thought and with the lingering feeling of that something was off remaining in a lessened state. Feeling empty, but not as much as before. "It didn't sound like anyone else, at least. And it sounded like he was in a lot of pain, so I'd assume he was the one getting hurt."

"We're to late to do anything about Fenrir. Vidarr left rather concerning report on things in the north. Fenrir broke lose, they are fighting it, which is what he was doing before he was summoned here, but, he also thinks The Serpent of Midgar is free as well. In his exact words 'it's Ragnarok'. That's not all ether, Dio some how has control of the situation, so while it is very much the opening of Ragnarok, he is preventing it from hitting its full stride, and 'using it for him self'. We need a plan, an actual plan." Aria said as the RV started to move forward.

This was where Vera wasn't sure what was going on - she'd not spent much time on Norse Mythology - but even she knew what Ragnarok was supposed to be. "So what... Dionysus is trying to end the world? I don't get it... What's his end game? What does he gain by killing all the gods?" she said, bringing her hand to her face, resting her nose in the crux of thumb and pointer fingers. "He's been sacrificing people to increase his power and corrupt gods like Gaia - I'm guessing that's how he's taking control of the world serpent and Fenrir - but to what end?" she continued, trying to figure it all out.

"Ragnarok, Dionysus, Fenrir, Serpents; ingredients for something truly awful. A problem for tomorrow though."

It was high night as the van crossed into Russia, Prometheus putting the conversation occurring in the back out of mind as he drove on, headlights on full beam, other passing cars few and far between. Approaching a small town, he slowed down and pulled up just shy of it, parking in the midst of a few sparse trees and turning the lights off. The weather was fine, yet without the light of the moon the town remained in veiled obscurity; content to wait out the night, he turned to the occupants of the van, rummaging around for an apple as he talked.

"I suggest any planning to be left until the morning. Then we can assess everything with a clear head. Get some sleep; there's 4 beds and these seats go back so I'm sure we'll all be alright."

Failing to meet the gaze of Nicole and Vera; perhaps the most affected, he simply slouched at a table and munched an apple, his mind focused on the coming days. Etna and Steven had witnessed and partook in torture, Vera and Nicole were struck at the recent deaths, Aria was somewhat enraged and Andrew...Andrew was Andrew. Hardly a force to reckon with a God, especially an empowered lunatic.

We need help...

Taking out his phone, he was dismayed that the battery was dead. Plugging it into the wall, he waited patiently, chewing as quietly as he could. He just needed one phone call.

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The jet landed in Moscow airport 5 minutes early, at 11:55pm. Apollo and his companion briskly walked down the steps, both dressed in sharp, grey suits. Stepping straight out of the jet into a black car, they left the airport in both stealth and style. Careening down the roads of Russia at break-neck speeds, Apollo focused on the prayer of his son.

"I suggest any planning to be left until the morning. Then we can assess everything with a clear head. Get some sleep; there's 4 beds and these seats go back so I'm sure we'll all be alright."

"If you don't mind, I'm going to get a couple of drinks," Andrew muttered, and sat up. He had been resting for a while already, and his mind was too filled with thoughts for him to even consider going to sleep. It was always easier to sleep when everyone else had fallen asleep first too, as if he didn't have to worry about them trying anything.

Besides, I need to get some air.

He didn't wait for Prometheus to reply though, just opened the door to the van, and walked out. The small town had mostly settled down for the night, he realized, as many of the lights from the windows were shut off. There was no moonlight, the starry sky being not giving off much light on its own. Still, this was Russia, a place he had wanted to go to for a long while. It was too bad he was in no mood, nor situation, to go sight-seeing. For now, it seemed all he could do was to waste time until the others went to sleep, and even a small town like this had to have some sort of bar.

If not, I'll have to go for a walk instead.

It didn't take him long to locate the only open place there, a small bar in the middle of the town. There weren't a lot of people there, something like half a dozen or so, a good thing, considering he wasn't interested in dealing with crowds at the moment. Andrew walked over to bartender and ordered a drink, his Russian easily understood, but also somewhat accented. He spent a couple of hours there, chatting with the locals in their native language, drinking, and then asking where the group could buy the items they needed the next morning.

Finally, he paid for his drinks and left the bar, more than just a slightly tipsy, but still functional. He doubted he'd feel it in the morning, as he was well aware of his limits. Even with all that had happened, Andrew knew the importance of staying alert. In his pocket, he had a note with a hastily drawn map of the town, letters indicating where one could get different items. It was simple enough for the others to understand it too. He opened the door to the van, slowly and carefully, and put the note on the dashboard. Andrew then found an open seat and went to sleep, not even adjusting it before he did.

"I suggest any planning to be left until the morning. Then we can assess everything with a clear head. Get some sleep; there's 4 beds and these seats go back so I'm sure we'll all be alright."

Prometheus didn't meet her gaze, and from what Andrew had said, did they torture that god? That's... he killed Remus and Able but nothing excuses torture. Nicole thought, maybe she was jumping to conclusions but all the same it felt like a shocking realization. Aria not answering her question certainly didn't help that impression.

"I think I'll get some rest," she muttered, heading to the beds and falling in one.

"Don't dwell on it. Forget and move on."

"How can I not?" Steven thought as he silently followed Prometheus after grabbing the shotgun from the ground.

"Ragnarok, Dionysus, Fenrir, Serpents; ingredients for something truly awful. A problem for tomorrow though."

Steven massaged the bridge of his nose, "Why? What does he hope to get from trying to end the world?"

He shook his head. Internally, he doubted sending out the snake could end the world. Today proved that even a god can be broken down by application of enough force. People had a lot of force they could throw at any threat, and everyone would consider a giant world snake a threat. However, letting humanity getting involved would have it's own consequences. Steven didn't want to be shipped to some island prison to be experimented on.

"I suggest any planning to be left until the morning. Then we can assess everything with a clear head. Get some sleep; there's 4 beds and these seats go back so I'm sure we'll all be alright."

He just sat in the passenger seat, placed the shotgun on the floor, and fell asleep.

Aria hardly needed to be told to go to sleep, she was exhausted, but even after she lay down on the couch, opting for that over a bed cause its where she was already, she couldn't get to sleep right away. The question of 'what now? rattled in her mind, not just at the loss of Remus and Able, but the news from the North as well, even if they still had they're fallen comrades, what could they possibly do against Dio now? she poured everything into the blast she fired at Teshub, and it didn't really do anything, it wasn't even enough to stop him from knocking her out. Sleep finally did over take her, but it wasn't until about the time Andrew had returned.

"Don't dwell on it. Forget and move on."

"Tch, I'll try." Etna muttered as she clambered back into the van and took a seat. Hopefully, with some sleep, she would be able to bury that experience. However, she still held the knife - a tangible reminder of the torture. But what of it? She was only following orders, right? Besides, Etna had taken no pleasure at all in the act. However, she had still tortured Teshub in cool blood. Damn it, her mind was like a seesaw. A seesaw that had even tipped towards the Nuremberg Defense, still that couldn't really be applied or mocked in the context of gods. Yes, she had been forced to do it by a being far more powerful than herself. Moreover, it wasn't like anything she and the group so far was particularly moral. It was kinda stupid worrying about such things.

Wasn't it?

Settled on that, Etna finally managed to fall asleep. Little did she know that she wouldn't escape so easily from that dilemma...

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Etna tossed and turned in her seat. Nevertheless, that soon stopped and sweet, dreamless sleep embraced her.

Vera watched as the others got comfortable, drifting off to sleep. She couldn't. The events of the previous battle poured into her mind, keeping her alert even as she desired sleep as a relief from the terrible thoughts and deeds. The images of Able and Remus dead flashed vividly in her mind, fresh and apparent as a yet-bleeding wound. Fear gripped her soul this way. Not fear of death; she'd long since stowed that away with the discovery that the gods were real and human souls did in fact find some reward or punishment postmortem. No, it was he fear of failure that gripped her.

She'd failed and two had died. In her mind, she replayed the battle, seeking a way to change the events. The solutions were all too evident. If she'd taken any form she could have protected them from the blast. Yet she'd been too hesitant to change. She'd thought to conserve her power and try to negotiate.

But there was more to it then that. Her argument with her father flashed into her mind; the memory still sharp though not quite as fresh as the the deaths. A moment later, the image of Vidarr crying over Able followed. Had she given her father a raw deal? Perhaps he cared more... No. That she couldn't accept.

Still, Aria's and Nicole's words rang in her head, giving credence to the claim. She continued to shake the ideas until a sound outside threw her back into the land of the conscious.

Vera stared out the window of the RV; hours having passed in slumber at least. She wasn't sure when she feel asleep, but Vera could be certain of one thing. She hadn't slept well enough.

Rising early from his thoughts, Prometheus grabbed his charged phone and quietly stepped out of the van. Closing the door behind him delicately, he paced from the van behind a nearby tree. The sun was just rising, though the morning air was still brisk and still; light-clouds above kept the world below from heating up. The van was parked in a small circle of trees, within walking distance to the town just down the road. Holding his phone up into the air, the Titan screwed up his lips. There was very little signal.

Raising the phone to his ear, he called anyway. A familiar voice answered, grumbling and upset at being woken.

"Hey. I need to call in a favour. I'm somewhere in West Russia, and need some help. Oh you know? Okay..."

Prometheus quickly grabbed a pen out of his pocket and wrote down an address.

"And you're sure she'll help? Okay, I'll head out later. Thanks."

Slipping the phone back into his pocket, Prometheus returned to the van and began to rouse the occupants. Picking up the list of items Andrew had wrote, he furrowed his brow, though there was little he could do to reprimand him; he should have just stopped him when he left.

The group looked tired, though especially Etna and Vera. The two girls looked worn and worried; haunted still by their nightmares. The titan spoke to all of them, hoping to get some proactive responses.

"So Andrew has thoughtfully explored the town for us, so we can just grab supplies and go. I'll bring the van round to the garage and let Steven fix some stuff up; while we're doing that, Nicole, Aria and Andrew, you should go grab some food from the grocer. Etna and Vera..."

He looked at them again, screwing his lips up once again. He felt awful meeting their gaze; guilt for Etna and grief for Vera. He stood there silent for a moment, considering what to say.

"...just, take a break. You look worse for wear."

Clambering back into the drivers seat, he pulled the van round and into town, pulling up outside the gas station. One pump, a small, dim-litted building and a handful of tools sprawled in a locked cage. Motioning for Andrew to lead the others to the shop, he climbed out and grabbed the tools, handing them to Steven.

"Just fix as much as you can; whatever you can't will have to wait until we get further north."

With that, he slumped back down onto one of the benches, and took out his notebook. Transferring the address into his book, he turned to a fresh page and began jotting down any information they had so far.

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The black car pulled up outside the bar that Andrew frequented the night before. Apollo stepped out, leaving the other man in the drivers seat. Stepping up to the door, he found it was locked. Shrugging, he swiftly kicked it in, much to the alarm of the old couple that lived upstairs. Waiting patiently in the doorway, he smiled as they descended the stairs, the man armed with a rather large gun.

He spoke in flawless Russian.

"Sorry to intrude, friends. I promise to have your door fixed, and even reimburse you. I'm looking for a young man, maybe in his mid-20s. He's not from here, he looks a bit like me; has he passed through here?"

The old man simply nodded, still stoically suspicious of the stranger. His finger didn't move from the trigger. Apollo procured a large fold of money from his pocket.

"Where is he?"

Andrew woke up when Prometheus was talking in the phone, though he wasn't close enough to hear what the titan actually said. Though he wanted to know what it was, Andrew decided to ignore it. For now, at least. Perhaps Prometheus would bring it up later, although Andrew did has his doubts. That, and a slight neck-ache, though that because of how he had been sleeping.

"So Andrew has thoughtfully explored the town for us, so we can just grab supplies and go. I'll bring the van round to the garage and let Steven fix some stuff up; while we're doing that, Nicole, Aria and Andrew, you should go grab some food from the grocer."

After Prometheus had parked again, Andrew got up, shrugging. "Sure." He glanced over at Aria and Nicole, who didn't look like they were ready to head out just yet and added; "I'll go ahead, I'll leave the note so you can join me when you're more awake." He then got out of the van, and was about to head towards the store. Only... was that an alarm? It was faint, certainly, but Andrew was sure of it.

I might as well check it out. It's not my problem, but I have a bad feeling about this. It may be someone following us.

As he was on his way, he realized that it was coming from the direction of the bar, and started walking faster. He noticed a black car in front of the bar, and saw a person in the driver's seat, though he was more interested in whoever had kicked the door open.

"Where is he?"

Despite only having heard that voice once, in English rather than Russian, it was unmistakable. Andrew carefully approached the situation, the old couple seemed to be more than a little surprise and annoyed at someone ruining their door. "What are you doing?" Andrew asked Apollo, annoyed. Because of the situation at hand, he made sure to speak Russian, so that the couple wouldn't be even more suspicious. He noticed the gun, and the money, and addressed the Russians, both of whom he'd spoken to the night before. "Was he looking for me?" They nodded, slowly. They seemed to feel somewhat relieved because he was there, and the gun was lowered. Andrew sighed, and waited for Apollo to pay the couple for the door, before following the god outside.

"Why did you do that to their door... Apollo?" he asked, speaking English now. Andrew was honestly puzzled about that, did he really have enough money not to care? He pointed at the guy in the car. "And who's that?" Andrew then realized that he was speaking casually to the god, not even taking the time to ask him which side he was on. He decided that he should make sure of that first, although not getting attacked was probably a good sign.

"Also, are you here to help me, or kill me?"

Or neither?

The titan woke them all and handed out orders as they headed into town,Etna and Vera got to just rest, and to be fair, both looked like hell, while Steven worked on the RV and she, Nicole and Andrew hit the town in search of supply's, cept, Andrew left with out them. Aria stretched a bit and popped a few times, she was still kinda tired, but not overtly so, she also did a quick check on her powers, they seemed to be working normally, she'd need to find out why over doing it some times leaves her powerless and other times just tired.

Aria grabbed the note Andrew left for them and waited for Nicole to get ready before setting off. "Um ... do you know how to speak Russian ..." she asked before they left.

Steven woke up, noticing just about no one was in the van. He got up, only for Prometheus to arrive.

"Just fix as much as you can; whatever you can't will have to wait until we get further north."

Steven nodded and took the tool box. It didn't have much, a screw driver, a hammer, nails, crowbar, some wrenches, pliers, and an old piece of measuring tape.

"I will still need a plunger, but I should be able to fix everything else with this," Steven noted, trying not to think about how bad the smell will be.

Steven walked back into the bathroom, put his shirt over his mouth, reminded himself to breath through the mouth, and walked in...

Nicole had spent some time just lying there after waking up, the thud of Remus and Able hitting the van replaying in her mind. She shook her head and forced herself to sit up, and begin getting ready for the day. The guilt was still there though it was not quite as powerful as it had been earlier, and overall she felt somewhat numb. Still hard to believe that they're gone... Sighing she finished getting ready and headed out.

"Nicole, Aria and Andrew, you should go grab some food from the grocer. Etna and Vera..."

"I'll go ahead, I'll leave the note so you can join me when you're more awake."

"Um ... do you know how to speak Russian ..."

"No," Nicole said, shaking her head "I'm sure there will be English speaker's around here though."

She wondered if they ought to follow Andrew, it certainly didn't seem like a good idea to split up too much. Especially not after what happened just last night. She turned back to Aria.

"You think we should head out after him? I think he said that he knows some Russian," Nicole said "Probably not a great idea for any of us to run off on our own anyways."

"You think we should head out after him? I think he said that he knows some Russian, Probably not a great idea for any of us to run off on our own anyways"

"Agreed" Aria said, then gave Nicole a hug, as she looked like she needed it. "They weren't upset when they left you know, annoyed at being dead, but other wise they seemed to be at peace." she added, hoping it would give her some comfort. After a moment Aria broke the hug and switch gears back to business. "Come on, lets go find our doctor, and hope we don't need to blast anyone."

"They weren't upset when they left you know, annoyed at being dead, but other wise they seemed to be at peace."

Nicole was startled both by the hug and by Aria's words. She wasn't sure how to respond for a moment, standing limply for a few moments before returning the hug. She was surprised how much hearing how they were at peace affected her, they were still gone and she still felt guilty, but every bit helped.

"I had forgotten you could see the dead," she said after Aria had released the hug "But thanks, knowing that they are at peace helps a little."

"Come on, lets go find our doctor, and hope we don't need to blast anyone."

"Yeah hopefully not," Nicole agreed "And he can't have gone far."

With that she left the van, turning towards the direction Andrew had gone. She could hear an alarm of some sort in the distance, though it was rather faint, and after a moment realized that she had tensed up at the sound of it. Could be any number of things, no need to get worried. We should still check it out though. That thought in mind she made her way towards the sound, keeping her pace slow and steady.

Prometheus nodded as Steven began working on the van. With limited tools he managed to get the bathroom in working order, albeit without a proper plunger, as well as giving the van a much-needed tune up. The air conditioning now worked at optimum efficiency, the brakes and turning far sharper. Passing the now somewhat grimey Steven an apple, he clapped him on the shoulder before grabbing an empty plastic bag.

"Nice work Steven. I'll go clean up the bathroom."

As he began the unsavoury job, he talked loudly, hoping to speak something of a conversation.

"Have you unlocked that book Verathragna gave you? Could be some useful stuff in there."

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Apollo turned around in surprise, meeting Andrew's gaze with a mixture of shock and amusement. Leaving the old couple with the money, he walked over to his son and sized him up. Apollo was taller and far more beautiful, yet the resemblance was striking, so much so that they could have been brothers.

"Andrew! I was just inquiring with our friends here about you. Seems you're easier to find than expected! Come! You wanted to talk with me?"

He spoke in English as the black car pulled up outside the bar. Nicole and Aria just saw as Apollo and Andrew stepped in, the car then driving off to do circles around the town.

Apollo sat facing Andrew in an impeccably kept, high-end car. The interior was black leather with wood furnishing - a small drinks cabinet sat between the two.

"Andrew, Andrew. It has been too long. I'm here to help you of course, as you asked. The prodigal father, as it would be. Oh, where are my manners. Asclepius!"

The window seperating the driver and the passengers came down to reveal a youth in a grey suit, similar to Andrew but with shocks of blonde hair and piercing green eyes.

"Hello little brother. What brings you to Russia?"

He spoke with an apathetic airiness, as if he had no real interest in the question. Apollo poured both himself and Andrew as glass of whiskey, before winking and motioning him to speak.

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"Hermes you wily bastard!"

An old and somewhat haggardly crone promptly crushed her cellphone in her hand, after a lengthy and draining phone call. Snatching a thick black cloak from her door, she stepped down from the forest-house and began muttering incoherently, before vanishing into thin air.

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