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

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Prometheus
She knew the name even the outlines of the story. That was good news by her, wonder if he still had the scars. He gave the impression he was in a hurry and she could see his point however she wasn't letting him get too far ahead of her and it wasn't long before she was just by the van. Her hearing picked up something, not enough to make out all the words but one stuck out.

Crazy girl
After a brief pause the girl pulled her weapon out of the ground and the small furry thing it was recently imbedded in. She took a deep breath and looking down noticed the entrails coiled around her spear felt a momentary stab of guilt, hopefully no one saw that.

Another breath was needed before she came round to the door and got in.

"Hello."

Watching from his seat, Steven really wondered

"We have three new people, dont freak out. Steven, don't let the crazy girl know who your father is just yet."

Steven raised an eyebrow, but nodded.

"At least we have... reinforcements," he said, wondering if these new people had any idea what they were going into.

"We have three new people, don't freak out."

New blood to replace old? Why not get an entire army of demigods while they were at it? From a previous peek in the window, they looked like lost little lambs, like lambs to the slaughter.

"Hello."

...Or rather not. Etna tried to ignore the mass of blood and entails on the strange girl's weapon. Well, at least the girl wouldn't have any problems with fighting, unlike Etna herself.

"Hi. Welcome to the team, I guess?" She said to the newcomer, arms folded.

In some sense, it felt nice to have some new blood in the team. Still, Etna agreed with Steven. Reinforcements were nice, but in the end, would that just mean that more people would get hurt?

"Hello."

Vera couldn't say she wasn't happy to see another heavily armed member of their team. If it kept them all alive, she'd be happy to work with just about anyone. She doubted she would have said that before Able and Remus had passed, but the lesson their deaths had taught was a tough and unforgiving one. She heard Etna welcome them, so Vera decided to do much the same.

"Likewise. I'm betting the gods didn't explain much inside the hut... thing. If you have any questions, I'll try to answer them. The name's Vera and it's a pleasure to meet all of you." she said to the three new allies.

"Which is the crazy..." Steven started to think.

"Hello."

"...Holy !#$^."

Steven stared at the blood covered spear.

"Hi," Steven said, deciding that this is a girl he didn't want to make an enemy of.

"Likewise. I'm betting the gods didn't explain much inside the hut... thing. If you have any questions, I'll try to answer them. The name's Vera and it's a pleasure to meet all of you."

"So can I," Steven said quickly, "But do you need anything? Water? Food? A paper towel?"

Apollo smiled again as Nicole sat down in the passenger seat. She barely fastened her seatbelt before he started driving hastily out of town. As he drove, he spoke to her as if talking to an old friend.

"I hope it'll be nice for you tonight. Catch a break from...all of it. Just have a night of pseudo a normality."

He looked down at himself then laughed, an infectious and melodic sound that put a smile on her face. The God continued to exude an aura of charisma and approachability; part divine, part charm. Though it was comforting, it balanced carefully upon the edge of dangerous, a fact that could be felt by both of them.

Arriving at a narrow airstrip, they were greeted by the sight of a sleek, hyper modern private jet. Stepping out of the car, Apollo opened the door for Nicole, ushering her inside, continuing to chat about trivial things. Inside, the plane was a blend of cream leather and light wood finished; several couches arrayed next to a sand table with figures and lines splaced sporadically. At the back was a bar, manned by an attractive brunette.

Apollo tool a seat and motioned towards the back.

"There's a shower and clean clothes past the bar. I figured you might like to change into something fresh, not that there's anything wrong with what you're in."

Next to the rather lavish shower was indeed a choice selection of dresses, all rather classy. Ordering a vodka, he smiled and cocked his head, trying to gauge her reaction.

A stiff breeze blew through the town as Apollo left. It carried with it faint traces of smoke - not uncommon, though Aria could feel the mark of the dead upon the breeze. Then she heard it, the soft wailing, audible only to her, flowing across the town from above. A monastery, recently renovated, large and foreboding. Too far to see details with the naked eye, all she could do was hear the screams, and feel the soft pains carried on the wind.

"I hope it'll be nice for you tonight. Catch a break from...all of it. Just have a night of pseudo a normality."

"I hope it'll be nice too," Nicole replied quietly, almost to herself "though I think this is a far cry from normality."

Her words were drowned out by Apollo's infectious laughter, and she couldn't help but smile and laugh with him a little. Apollo's words matched her own thoughts perhaps a bit too closely, but all the same his presence was strangely comforting. Even so underneath that there was an unmistakable aura of power about him, it frightened Nicole a little reminding her of how he had called Steven's bluff, certainly she wasn't going to be forgetting that Apollo was a god anytime soon.

They traveled quickly and soon Nicole found herself boarding an impressive looking private jet, where are we going for this date? Nicole wondered to herself. For now all she could do was follow, and be impressed by the amount of luxury present all around her.

"There's a shower and clean clothes past the bar. I figured you might like to change into something fresh, not that there's anything wrong with what you're in."

"Oh wow," Nicole said, she had never expected a shower, especially not one so fancy, on a jet. A shower would be really nice right now, after everything that's happened. The dresses all looked quite nice as well, and she did feel rather under-dressed compared to Apollo in his suit.

"Just give me some privacy to get cleaned up and dressed," she said, waiting for him to do so before stripping down and stepping into the shower. She took her time letting the water wash over her, trying to cleanse her of recent events, and enjoying the feeling of hot clean water washing over her. After some time she stepped out of the shower, dried off, and turned to selecting a dress soon deciding on a long black one.

She walked back out, feeling refreshed from the shower, and while her movement was a bit restricted by the dress it felt nice to dress up like this. She didn't normally do so very often after all, she was glad the dress wasn't skimpy or too revealing though, have to remember who I'm dealing with here after all.

"How do I look?" she asked Apollo as she stepped back out to the bar.

Straighting up, Shiro regarded the bearded man, as well as the adolescents behind him.

"Um, hello. You must be our escort. My name is Shiro Yamamoto, nice to meet you." He bowed politely as he said this, he straightened up again and added, "If you don't mind, I'm sort of curious why you need to call us here."

He glanced at his companions beside him, trying to ignore the fact that the girl's spear was somewhat bloody.

"If you don't mind, I'm sort of curious why you need to call us here." The Japanese man said; introducing himself as Shiro. Vera thought the question through for a second, trying to find the best way to summarize everything, before speaking up.

"Basically, as we've been told anyway, one of the Greek Gods - Dionysus - has gone power mad and is on a rampage. He's been sacrificing people to increase his power for some reason, is trying to bring about Ragnarok, is driving gods insane or otherwise pulling them over to his side. Apparently, the gods can't deal with the problem themselves because Dionysus can sense when they approach. So, Zeus assembled a "crack team" of - mostly - teenage/young adult demigods to fight back. Needless to say, it's been rather difficult... and we just lost two very good people because of it." Vera said, filling in most of the blanks she hoped.

Exposition later

"I'm sorry for your loss.
Though I wouldn't exactly call myself a demigod. You can call me Prail by the way." Maybe they knew maybe they didn't.

She holds out one of her hands while the other flips the weapon with a single movement so she can inspect it's spearhead. The smell was one she knew well, rabbit. Her inability to remember the kill was a very tiny sliver of upsetting, barely enough to show on her face though.

Water? Food?

"If you've got any I'd appreciate it, though I'd feel bad if I didn't eat that critter back there. It's fresh if nothing else and I owe it the use."

"So how do we hunt down a god? What do we do I mean, how are we tracking him?"
Then something occurred to her.
"And where the hell are we exactly?" It only recently dawned that she had no idea what country this was.

Aria heard the wailing over some where over head, she had heard it for a little while now, but was ignoring it till now, it was the feel of 'death' on the air that made her stop and actually listen. She followed the sounds through the town till an old monastery came into view, she paused there. The sounds where not only getting louder but there was more to them, she was starting to feel an ache in her body, like she'd been working all day or something similar, while decided if she should go in to investigate or not.

Andrew had taken his time looking for Aria. Actually, he had taken the time to buy some food, as he had gotten hungry, and had spent some time just wandering around as he ate, halfway looking for her, halfway making sure he didn't accidentally walk into her and upset her. He wondered if Nicole was being treated right, most likely so. Even if Apollo did try something, the chance of him hurting Nicole was somewhat small, at least if the god intended to stay as neutral as he had claimed he was. Still, there was nothing Andrew could do, but wait and see, for both the van and Nicole.

This is idiotic, though.

Why had even both of them been sent, if Aria was going to run off like this? Andrew was getting increasingly annoyed at that fact, they had been sent as a pair so that they could be safer. He considered just giving up and letting Aria do whatever the fuck she wanted, he could go get a drink or something. Of course, he'd have to explain the bow if he did, but he had managed to make the people in the grocery store trust him -he had managed to convince them of that it was simply an antique, which hadn't been hard considering what it looked like- so he could make these people too. However, it was at that moment he spotted Aria, walking determinedly towards something, although he didn't know what.

Trouble?

Perhaps so, he had to keep an eye out, at least. She stopped not far from there, looking at some monastery. Andrew couldn't really see her that well in the darkness, but the behavior was suspicious to say the least, so he approached her, not waiting for her to notice him before he spoke.

"What are you doing?" he asked, his tone being both curious and annoyed. He walked up next to her. "Why are you standing here? Is something wrong?"

If she runs away, I swear...

Andrew was about to say something more, something about her running away being more than a little annoying. However, he stopped himself before he spoke. That really wasn't the approach he should take. If he ended up having to look for her again, he'd rather just not. Instead, he held out the bag of food, not very much, but he had bought food taking Aria's portion into consideration, if only so that she couldn't complain about that.

"I have food for you if you're hungry."

"What are you doing? Why are you standing here? Is something wrong?"

Aria turned to see Andrew, her expression showed she was annoyed he'd followed her, but that was only a minor annoyance, the monastery was of far greater concern, and she turned back to it "Something is here, I can hear it, even feel it" she started "Some kind of howling spirit, a banshee maybe? or something like it? Ether way I don't think leaving it be is a good idea, I just haven't decided on going in or not." Aria said, then glanced at Andrew "If I'm gonna, probably should sooner rather then later, you and the others will only be in the way if it's a ghost related matter"

"Something is here, I can hear it, even feel it. Some kind of howling spirit, a banshee maybe? or something like it? Ether way I don't think leaving it be is a good idea, I just haven't decided on going in or not."

Andrew glanced towards the monastery, he couldn't hear a single thing. However, Aria could talk to spirits, right?

Yeah, she was the one who spoke to the owner of the tongue.

Still, this was troubling. While he could admit to that it might not be a good idea, going inside didn't sound like a particularly great plan either. It was risky, that was for sure.

"If I'm gonna, probably should sooner rather then later, you and the others will only be in the way if it's a ghost related matter"

"If you're going," Andrew replied, having gotten more annoyed by now, "Then you're not going alone. If anything attacks you, and hurts you, then I can heal you, it being because of a ghost or not. Both of us were sent out for a reason, and that was not for you to go running into some place on your own. Besides, it could very well be a trap, and I'm not explaining why you were attacked while I wasn't around." He kept his eyes on hers.

"If you try to go ahead, I'll follow, because I'm not putting up with you leaving me behind again. If you want me to, I can keep a distance, I just need to be close enough to be able to run in and help you should you need it." Andrew clearly expressed that he was determined to follow her.

"I'm usually not keen on trying to force people to let me help them. However, I'm not going to let you get yourself killed."

"And how do you expect to protect your self from something you can not see, or hear?" She start still facing the building "I am not good enough, nor do I have the skill set needed to protect both of us, and YOU, are still highly valuable to the team, since you are the only one that has healing powers" Aria said turning around to face him, still neglecting to mention the air of death hanging around the place.

"Besides, what makes you think I'd let you follow me? Or that you can?" motioning to the locked gate "I can get around that easy, you, would have to pick the lock, and I'll be at the door and inside before you can finish picking it." there was an sense of smugness to that last statement, but her expression changed to a more somber one "But really, DO. NOT. FOLLOW. ME. You have no means to protect your self from these things that I know of, and I'm not gonna let you or anyone else who lack the ability to see or hear the dead walk into a place like that. It'd be foolish, and I know your not that stupid, a total jerk maybe, but not stupid."

Prometheus fired up the van and started driving, back towards the town, speaking as he did so.

"Prail, Shiro. Nice to meet you. As to hunting..."

The van rounded a particularly sharp bend, tires screeching in protest.

"All we know is he's probably North. We don't know a lot, we just want to prevent any more deaths. Which is harder than it sounds."

Rolling into town, he could see neither Andrew nor Aria at the meeting point. Prometheus could have cursed, but he didn't bother wasting his breath. They just needed to find them.

"Seriously? Vera, can you look for Aria and Andrew."

He stopped the van and drummed his fingers on the shield, running his hands through his hair. He was deeply worried giving the current state of things - Nicole with Apollo, two missing, and nightfall in Russia.

"Nobody break away from the group. Prail, Shiro...other guy. You handy in a pinch?"

"And how do you expect to protect your self from something you can not see, or hear? I am not good enough, nor do I have the skill set needed to protect both of us, and YOU, are still highly valuable to the team, since you are the only one that has healing powers"

"Do you honestly think I'm afraid?" Andrew asked, his tone taking a more arrogant form. "The two of us together are still a better shot than you alone, if you honestly think I'm going to just be in the way, you are underestimating me." He let Aria continue, but really, it didn't matter what she said, he still wasn't going to let her run inside alone.

"Besides, what makes you think I'd let you follow me? Or that you can? I can get around that easy, you, would have to pick the lock, and I'll be at the door and inside before you can finish picking it. But really, DO. NOT. FOLLOW. ME. You have no means to protect your self from these things that I know of, and I'm not gonna let you or anyone else who lack the ability to see or hear the dead walk into a place like that. It'd be foolish, and I know your not that stupid, a total jerk maybe, but not stupid."

"You're right, I'm not stupid," Andrew replied with. He ignored her insult for now, he would address it soon enough. "And yes, it would be foolish for me to go inside just like that. It would be just as foolish to send you in alone, though, if not more." With that, he motioned towards the opposite direction of the monastery.

"The smartest thing would be to leave it alone, if you don't know what it is, then it's not even sure you can do anything about it. However, if you're going to act like a moron, then I'm going to make that decision slightly less moronic, and better our odds. I might just be a "total jerk", but it should be clear by now that I have no intention nor desire to see you hurt or dead."

Aria sighed, shook her head, then teleported her self to the other side of the gate "The odds are only better if we had equal ability's suited for the task at hand, and we don't, healing ability or not, your only going to be in the way, stay here, or go back and wait for the others." and with that, Aria teleported her self away again, this time, out of Andrew's sight.

After she was sure she had a far enough head start Aria began her walk toward the monastery, though this time, she kept her guard up. She wasn't getting captured a second time.

Apollo nodded and smiled, an impressed expression on his face. There was a genuine smile on his face, but the gods eyes hinted at perhaps ulterior motives.

"Absolutely beautiful. Venus herself would be green with envy. Now I must settle for being the less attractive of our pair."

The plane began its descent, the roar of the engines dulled through the somewhat soundproof design. Admiring Nicole, he flicked a Golden coin between his fingers, rolling it to and fro. Through the windows Nicole could see the lights of Paris drawing nearer and nearer.

"Welcome to Paris, Nicole. Been before?"

As the plane ground to a halt, Apollo continued to watch her, eager to impress. The jet had stopped on a private runway, noted by its proximity to the river and distinct lack of planes. From the window, Nicole could see a small yet beautiful wooden boat, glittering with small lights in the window panes.

The doors to the monastery were large and foreboding, made of an old dark wood, polished with bronze. The building was made of dark stone, recently renovated to a high polish, and was flecked with hundreds of small windows, each flickering with the light of a fire. As Aria approached it, she could hear new moans of strife coming from the building, yelps of pain from living beings.

The doors opened and a tall man dressed in a purple robe stepped out. He had a short, trimmed beard and long, brown hair in ringlets. On his hands were numerous gold rings, and were stained with blood. Each step he took spread ivy across the ground. He seemed as surprised to see Aria as she was him.

"Oh? And who are you?"

Before she could move, ivy seized her and thorns pierced her skin. She could feel the raw and almost unlimited power of the God, and no longer had feeling in her body. She walked towards him against her will, and he led her inside. The monastery was overrun with ivy, vines spreading and writhing across marble floors and columns. All around him were swathes of women, with frenzied hair and wicked claws, all carrying equipment ranging from pots to knives to baskets.

Entering the main hall, Aria saw that the resident monks were penned in, hundreds of them, each being killed one by one and bled into clay pots by the women atop a high altar. A golden haired woman was bound to the floor by ivy, her appearance strikingly beautiful. A younger girl, no more than 16 sat atop her, armed with a spear and shield, looking incredibly bored.

Binding Aria upright against the wall, he looked at her curiously, her eyes catching the silver token hanging by a necklace.

"Who are you little one?"

"Absolutely beautiful. Venus herself would be green with envy. Now I must settle for being the less attractive of our pair."

"Haha, careful I hear she doesn't like unfavorable comparisons," Nicole replied, smiling at the exaggerated compliment.

The plane started to descend and she moved to look out the window, still impressed by how smooth the flight was. She looked down at the lights of the city below, normally she wouldn't have been able to tell one city from another simply by the lights, but there was one structure in the distance that she recognized if only from books and movies. Apollo spoke up, confirming her suspicions.

"Welcome to Paris, Nicole. Been before?"

"No, I'd never left the states before getting called off to Australia, always wanted to come though," she said as she continued to stare out of the window while the plane drew to a stop. It wasn't surprising to her that he chose to come here, given the cities reputation.

As she looked out the window she spotted a small wooden boat in the river by the runway, it was quite a pretty sight with its lights shining off the surface of the river. Is that Apollo's? The whole runway seems to belong to him if nothing else.

'that's not good' Aria though as she could hear the cry's of live subjects now, but before she could turn to leave, some one came out.

"Oh? And who are you?" a man in a purple robe asked seemingly surprised to see her, but give her no time to respond before the Ivy that over ran the place, and indeed fallowed his every step stung her, numbing her and robbing her of motor control as against her desires, she followed him in.

She could still look around a little, that was good. Monks being sacrificed and bleed into pots, who she assumed was Artemus, sitting on another, incredibly beautiful woman though she couldn't tell much more about her. Her 'tour' was cut short when he bound her to wall

"Who are you little one?"

He asked again, the light catching the silver token around his neck enough to notice, but both him, and 'Artemus' draw an exhausted sigh from her "Really ...? Two of you are here ... ugh ..." she said in a tone that denoted her displeasure with bumping into any deity, let alone two. Aria shook her and sighed a 'fine' "Aria Valentine, daughter of the Norse Goddess Freya, and kiddnappie sent to clean up Zeus's mess cause he can't seem to keep his own people in check" Aria snapped, with a mix of irritation and snark, though from her perspective, it was all true.

"Seriously? Vera, can you look for Aria and Andrew." Prometheus said. He wasn't even finished speaking before she was out the door and searching. Because they needed speed and the ability to see her, Vera chose to take her Bird of Prey form; soaring on the wings to search out the missing members of their group.

Vera made wide circles in the search outward, hoping they were at least moderately close. It took a few minutes of constant flight before she caught sight of Andrew. Who was alone. "This day just gets better and better" she thought before diving down to the missing healer.

She landed in front of him - squawking to get his attention - then stayed there hoping Andrew would remember she could be a bird.

"The odds are only better if we had equal ability's suited for the task at hand, and we don't, healing ability or not, your only going to be in the way, stay here, or go back and wait for the others."

With that, Aria teleported out of sight, into the monastery. Andrew groaned, Aria was too sure of that she knew what was going on, and obviously underestimating him. Honestly, at this point he was ready to let her do as she wanted, however, he knew that he had to do something. No one was going to die this time. As he was about to start running, he was approached by an abnormally large bird. It squawked at him.

Vera?

"Vera, that's you, right?" He remembered how she had appeared earlier, after all, he had been impressed with the form. "Listen, Aria went into the monastery by herself, I tried to talk her into not doing so, but she teleported, and I can't enter because of the gates. Can you check up on her? If you're here, that means the rest are here, right?" He didn't wait for an answer, just turned towards where the planned meeting point was.

"Be careful, she said there might be ghosts in there, and you don't want to attract unwanted attention, especially since they'll see you before you notice them. Just go check what's up, while I'm getting the others, Steven should be able to get the lock up."

It was their best bet, anyhow.

He started running, although he wasn't as adept a runner as Nicole or Vera, very far from it, Andrew still had the benefit of being a demigod, as well as the benefit of his naturally agile build, so his speed wasn't too bad. After running for a while, the items in his hands moving around as he did, he found the van, and opened the door, putting down the bag he had been carrying around and addressing Prometheus. He kept the bow, though, and he spoke, quickly, although his voice bore no sign of fear or panic.

"Aria went into the monastery because she heard some ghosts or something, and I think there might be trouble. I told Vera to check up on her, there's a locked gate so I couldn't enter myself. We need Steven to open that one." He noticed the new people, but he really didn't care right now. "We need to make sure neither of them get hurt, and we need to move now. It's easy enough to spot," he pointed towards it, "and I do think we'd get there faster with the van."

"Vera, that's you, right?" Andrew said, earning a screech and a head nod. "Listen, Aria went into the monastery by herself, I tried to talk her into not doing so, but she teleported, and I can't enter because of the gates. Can you check up on her? If you're here, that means the rest are here, right? Be careful, she said there might be ghosts in there, and you don't want to attract unwanted attention, especially since they'll see you before you notice them. Just go check what's up, while I'm getting the others, Steven should be able to get the lock up." He said, before taking off toward the meeting spot.

Vera wasted no time taking off herself; launching into the air and making her way toward the monastery. Being as stealthy as a non-native falcon could be in a Russian metropolis, she flew toward the monastery; perching outside one of the tiny windows. She had to try several times before she could find a large enough window with a wide enough angle of view, but eventually she found a window which she could - hopefully - break and fly into if necessary.

From the window, Vera could make out Aria - bound in what appeared to be plant matter - with a bunch of sacrifices, monks, and at least two people who could be gods. Aria was speaking; though it was too far away for her to make out through the glass. Vera could only hope the same silence benefited her.

There she waited, watching what was going on below, her beak ready to crack the glass so she could fly in to the rescue of needed.

A lot happened in a short time frame, but Prail eventually got it all together.
The girl turning into a bird was something she'd processes mentally later.

You handy in a pinch?

"Depends entirely on whose pinching. It be nice to have some idea who we're trying to save, a picture... a scent."

She spoke again soon, after a brief period of thinking.
"What's the problem with the door, we're got a van. Would ramming it do anything?"
She held tighter to the weapon after cleaning it.

She had plenty of questions like what she could expect in there. But she could smell the blood even from this far away, such a sweaty pungent odour. She knew it was bad news that much was painfully obvious even from here.

"What exactly are you sending us into here?" The idea they were keeping something from her didn't sit well with her. It didn't help there was another scent mixed in with the blood, one she couldn't quite place but something about it drove her crazy. Hence the growling under her breath.

"You handy in a pinch?"

Shiro nodded. "Hai... I mean, yes. I believe I can handle myself in a fight. He neglected to mention that he hadn't been in a fight bigger than a kendo duel, but hey, there was a first time for everything, right?

Speaking of which, one of the others suddenly turned into a bird and took off.

Well... There's something you don't see everyday...

Prometheus almost laughed at Prails question as he hauled Andrew in and sped towards the monastery.

"Prail, I have no idea what we're going into. I know as much as you do. God damn, why would Aria do that?!"

Swinging his head at Shiro, he looked the youth up and down.nt
The sword certainly indicated some form of combat prowess, though the Titan couldn't be sure.

"You better hope so, friend."

Approaching the monastery, he intended to ram the gate. However, seeing the thick and heavy bars up close, bound by both bar and lock, made him think twice and slam on the brakes. He had faith in Steven anyway.

"Steven! Can you bust open the gate?!"

Apollo tool her hand and lead her off the plane, fixing his tie as he did so.

"Glad I could bring you here then. I personally believe Paris is a city best viewed from the river. You're not afraid of boats, are you?"

His voice dropped slightly at the final word, hinting that he truly wanted to know. The pair walked towards the wooden boat, gently rocking on the river. On the prow was set up a tale fit for fine dining, with two dark wood chairs already pulled out. In the cabin, an old French man with bushy beard and eyebrows stepped out to greet the two.

"Ah, Monsieur Apollo! And who is this? Si Belle!"

He spoke enthusiastically with a broad smile and starsbin his eyes, eagerly kissing Nicole's cheeks and helping her aboard, settling her into one of the chairs.

Apollo produced a small bunch of notes and laid it in the mans hands.

"Elle est mon Ami, Peter. Once around the river?"

The man nodded and went back to the cabin, retrieving a large paddle and steppes out onto the furthest point of the boat. Pushing it away from the shore, they began almost silently floating downstream.

Apollo procured a bottle of champagne from underneath the table, pouring both their glasses before motioning to the lights of Paris.

"Paris is always so beautiful. I lived here for quite a while, but...things change. Nature of the world I suppose. That's why you're so lucky, Nicole. You get to male a difference, make a change, small or large. A change nonetheless..."

His gaze was no longer at Paris but fixed at Nicole, as if looking straight through her. A smartly dressed woman interrupted with a steaming plate of entrees - cold meats, crumbling cheeses, a light salad and, curiously, fresh olives. Apollo waved her away after she set it down on the table.

[I]"Why did you want to come to Paris, Nicole? What is it that draws people here?"

Dionysus spun and clapped, laughing heartily at Aria's joke. The youth remained entirely uninterested, even taking out a cell phone and aimlessly browsing.

The Mad God bounded up and tussled Aria's hair.

"Yes! Yes! That's what he does! I'm glad I'm not the only one. So afraid to risk his life, so terrified to step outside the bounds! But you! You're not afraid. A daughter of Freya, yet so opposed to me. Why do you fight me with those others? Why do you hunt me so?"

He scratched her neck with a nail, loosing a small amount of blood that he let pool in his hand, making a sad puppy expression. He took the blood and threw it into a small basket that was sitting upon the blood drenched altar.

"That ought to liven things up! I think that's enough!"

Everyone froze, and the women handed forth their jugs of blood and wine to the altar, where they were stacked precariously high. The youth put away her phone and took her place at his side, dragging the beauty behind her. The woman struggled and cried to no avail. Aria caught a glimpse of her face for a brief moment. It was near identical to the youths.

"Yes! Yes! That's what he does! I'm glad I'm not the only one. So afraid to risk his life, so terrified to step outside the bounds! But you! You're not afraid. A daughter of Freya, yet so opposed to me. Why do you fight me with those others? Why do you hunt me so?"

The surprise on Arias face was unmistakeable, she'd been expecting another minion or something, not Dio himself, and the surprise continued when he cut her neck, drawing a little bit of blood and threw it into a basket. She didn't feel like she was bleeding to death, so it must not have been a very deep cut, though she wondered what he meant by 'liven things up'. "Well, since they never told us why you suddenly took up mass murder as a hobby, so there's only two reason I want you dead, or stopped, ether really will get me what I want." Aria started "Firstly, two of my friends are dead now because of you and ... what ever your doing, The second is, you released the Serpent of Midgar and Fenrir right? Freya is the only living relative I have left I know about, and she has answers I need, so your endangering not just a family I've never know, but answers to questions I've had most my life, and if I need to go through you to get them, fine, all things considered, I stand to gain more of value then I'll lose."

Aria's tone the entire time speak was, oddly calm, given who she was face to face with, though her surprise earlier did not diminishing what ever 'fearlessness' Dio spoke of. "So why are you doing all this?"

"Glad I could bring you here then. I personally believe Paris is a city best viewed from the river. You're not afraid of boats, are you?"

"No of course not," Nicole replied as she let Apollo lead her outside to the boat "Seeing Paris from the river sounds very nice."

She could see that there was a table and chairs on the deck of the boat, dinner during a riverside tour of the city? That does sound really nice, romantic even. She felt rather hungry as well, not having had a chance to eat with all the days events.

A hairy Frenchman, apparently in charge of the boat, came out to greet them.

"Ah, Monsieur Apollo! And who is this? Si Belle!"

He kissed Nicole on each cheek, she had heard of it as a method of greeting but it still felt strange to her, she smiled at his compliment though and let him help her aboard and into one of the chairs.

"I'm Nicole," she said, about to ask the man's name when Apollo spoke.

"Elle est mon Ami, Peter. Once around the river?"

"It's very nice to meet you Peter," she said, trying to remember what french she knew "Je m'appelle Nicole."

The man headed into the cabin and retrieved a paddle, pushing them off and down the river slowly. Apollo retrieved a bottle of champagne and poured them each a glass, and motioned to the lights of the city.

"Paris is always so beautiful. I lived here for quite a while, but...things change. Nature of the world I suppose. That's why you're so lucky, Nicole. You get to make a difference, make a change, small or large. A change nonetheless..."

"I suppose so, I wish I didn't have to though," she said, looking down hesitantly at the glass, then up at Paris "It is a beautiful city, just like I'd always imagined it."

She took a careful sip of the champagne, the taste was strange to her not having drunk much in the past, but not unpleasant. Just don't drink too much, she reminded herself. She had just started to wonder what they might be eating when a woman emerged from the cabin carrying a plate full of various entrees, Nicole felt a pang of hunger at the sight of the food, it all looked quite delicious.

"Why did you want to come to Paris, Nicole? What is it that draws people here?"

Apollo said as the woman left, Nicole began to serve herself a plate of some of the food being careful to eat slowly and politely. She was quite hungry but couldn't help but feel that it would be wrong to just dig into the dishes, both for how good they looked and because she had no desire to get anything on her dress.

"I don't know, I've just always heard about how beautiful it is, of all the romance and history it has," she said "It seems like everyone wants to come here at least once."

She turned to look at Apollo, feeling his gaze on and through her, it felt like he was examining not just her appearance, but some other aspect of her as well. She wondered what he saw.

"What about you? Why did you decide to take me here?" she said with smile after swallowing another bite.

"Prail, I have no idea what we're going into. I know as much as you do. God damn, why would Aria do that?!"

"She said it was because no one else would be able to handle a ghost," Andrew replied, regardless or not if Prometheus actually wanted that answer. "I tried to talk her out of it, said that if she had to go, she should bring both of us, but that it really wasn't a good idea. She just teleported inside instead, told me I was just going to be in the way either way."

He reported it in a dull tone, as if what she had said already had stopped interesting him. He supposed it didn't, whether or not she had insulted and underestimated him, disrespected him by not listening, or simply acted like a brat by going ahead on her own... it really didn't matter anymore. They quickly got there, with Prometheus apparently intending to ram the gates -at least if judging from his speed approaching it- was an idea Andrew was less than fond of, for several reasons. Luckily, the titan stopped, and turned to Steven, asking him to take care of it.

Who thought the old man would be useful for more than waiving around a gun and making bad decisions?

Honestly, Andrew didn't like admitting that. Steven had held him up against the van because of something he couldn't help, and did not try to hide or even contain his contempt for him. Andrew couldn't remember having wronged the guy either, so he had started to find his personality disagreeable, more than anyone else, he supposed. However, Steven was the only one who had a shot at getting the lock open, at least if the tactic was to be something else than "ram it with a sword", which could work, although it was unlikely it would. Perhaps one of the new people could do something about it, if Steven couldn't?

I just hope Aria was mistaken about everything, and that there's nothing at all there.

He wasn't going to spend time thinking about what he could have worded differently, not at all. But... had she been more happy to listen if he hadn't upset her earlier? Perhaps she would.

Aria and the unknown enemies continued to speak for a while. Vera was content to watch while this happened. Aria was more then capable to taking care of herself and could likely get herself out of the situation as she needed. She could teleport after all. Plus, so long as they were speaking, it was giving them information for later - always helpful.

Then however, the god made the less than ideal move of taking some of Aria's blood and adding it to the mix for what Vera could only assume was sacrificial in nature. They piled the jugs of blood dangerously high upon the alter. Things were looking increasingly bad.

Vera took a glance around toward the front of the building. There, the rest of the group was valiantly working to get inside the monastery. They weren't far behind, but they were still behind. Her mind made up, Vera drew her head back, pointed her beak at the glass, and slammed forward with her Olympian strength.

Shards of glass rained into the monastery and the sound echoed through the chamber. With the forward force of the attack upon the glass, Vera flew into the chamber with all her strength. She could feel her face bleeding from the attack but paid it no heed; there were greater concerns.

She made a bee line for the alter, slamming into the jugs of blood with as much strength as her demigod form could muster, attempting to unbalance the jugs and cause them to fall upon the enemy gods. Disrupt the ritual: check. Hurt the gods: hopefully check. Cause a distraction for the group outside: check. Say something an action hero would say:...

"CAAAAAAAWWWWWWW"

Well... you can't win at everything.

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