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

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"Touch her again and I will end you, infant."

"Your Welcome" Aria said in an irritated manner, while she pushed her self into a seated and up right position against the door, clearly in no shape to continue the fight."She attacked me and my team, I responded, If you don't like her getting hurt, keep out off the battle field." As Aria spoke to the Goddess, she maintain eye contact, though when she finished her statement she broke eye contact, mostly cause she noticed just looking at this goddess was turning her on, and frankly, she didn't need that right now. 'She's threatening to kill me and a I can think is how I want her to me to the nearest motel and let her have her way with me ... I am so screwed up ...' she sighed to her self as Andrew stepped in to try and work a peaceful end to this.

"If you can guarantee she won't be a threat if healed, I will not attack her further." Aria added to the end of Andrews statement, and really if the girl would stop attacking she had no problem leaving her be.

"Touch her again and I will end you, infant." the Goddess said to Aria, though she suspected that applied to the entire group.

At the time, Vera had been busy trying to suck away all the air around their adversary - just to knock her out. She wasn't sure whether to continue or not, but Andrew and Aria had stopped attacking for the moment so she elected to leave it to them; even if Aria was in no condition to keep fighting. "In the very least, they aren't trying to kill each other at the moment" Vera thought as she redeployed; albeit with a fair bit of attention still on the extraordinarily beautiful Goddess and dangerous demi-goddesss.

Vera swooped down on the remaining servants of Dionysus; trying to slam them into the ground with a blast of wind.

The feeling of breaking an attacking cultist's neck almost sent shivers down Jonatan's spine as the quick but brutal action; added more fury to the orgy of violence that the young berserker was falling deeper into with every kill made.

His hands and clothes had soon become covered in the blood of his fallen opponents, but if this bothered him the Celt gave little sign. Even with the injury of Prometheus and the unfolding situation up on the Alter, Jonathan focused fully on the bloody madness that he was unleashing onto the cultist hoard and cared little for the plight or struggle of his allies.

With ever kill made, his rage and pure bloodlust grew along with the ferocity and speed of his attacks. Ever cell in his body cried out for more blood to be spilled as his battle fury washed over him increasing his anger and strength to almost god like proportions. His vision became blurred and his mind began to fill with the urge to kill all things that crossed his path, the abilities of his mother beginning to fully overtake him. Wanting nothing more than to kill, Jonathan jumped straight into the growing hoard of attackers, his Gaelic war cry ringing out through the chapel halls.

"Srac agus cuimilt, Srac agus cuimilt!!"

Apollo ate slowly, listening to Nicole, shadows from the lights drifting across them. He was glad to see her enjoying her meal, though it remained difficult to coax her out of thinking about her task.

"Its not your...quest. At least, not right now. All you have to do now is relax."

The God smiled and continued eating, watching Nicole. Apollo often wondered whether their group would succeed. It seemed unlikely to him, and even if they did. What then?

I don't particularly fancy what becomes of me...

He worried. For both Nicole and Andrew, though his face didn't show it. After Nicole had finished eating, the boat pulled up again at the jetty, having completed the small loop. They were no adjacent to the small airstrip, where the plane awaited. It was just striking midnight.

"There's just one last place I want you to take you."

He held out his hand and helped her off the boat, returning again to the plane. As they sat down, Apollo began twirling a silver token between his fingers, the gold one jutting out of his pocket.

"Its not your...quest. At least, not right now. All you have to do now is relax."

"I am relaxed, this whole date has been wonderful so far," Nicole said, smiling. It was true too, as much as she had mentioned the quest it all felt too far away at the moment for her to really consider it, there were better things to be focused on like the food.

Time passed surprisingly quickly as she savored her food and enjoyed the sights of the city, Paris was quite beautiful at night and Apollo seemed to be right that it was best seen from the river. Eventually they reached the end of the loop and the boat docked, Apollo stood and lead her onto the plane.

"There's just one last place I want you to take you."

"Oh where?" she asked, excited and curious "Or is it a surprise?"

She noticed him pull out a different coin and begin twirling it between his fingers, a silver one instead of the gold he had twirled before. She wondered if there was any significance to the act or if it was just a habit, I don't remember any myths about such... maybe I'll ask him about it later.

Venus

The Goddess eyed Andrew sharply with suspicion, stepping back towards the youth. Her eyes darted between Aria and Andrew, clearly desperate, but not willing to risk the girls life.

Ignoring Aria, she matched Andrews gaze and called to him. Not a siren call, but his vision blurred, the only focus available surrounding the goddess. His mind was filled with visions of rewards for his compliance, her voice both commanding and alluring.

"Please just help her. The witch can wait."

Venus could not force him, but the spell was strong, as were the feelings clowding Andrew's mind. To him, Aria looked like she was going to be okay. A voice sounded in his head.

Please

Vera

Vera slammed down and crushed the maenads in the room to the floor, along with everyone else below the altar save Jon and the Titan, owing to their strength. The women were pinned and immobilized, as were Prail, Shiro and Steven. Jon and Prometheus could barely walk. Vers could feel the many bodies struggling under her, but in a confined space with sturdy walls, her wind was strong and unrelenting.

Jon

Jon had just engaged his blood-lust, his wild fury when his opponents were pinned out of reach. He could feel the strong force pushing down on him, yet his bones still ached for battle, his eyes still partly glazed over, blind to the beauty of Venus.

Prometheus

The Titan shook visibly as he held out against Vera's wind, happy at least that the fighting had ceased. The room was devoid of any sound except the roar of the gale. Seeing that everyone was still alive, Jon even standing, his eyes caught the shimmer of Venus standing upon the altar, his gaze instantly transfixed.

The goddess looked towards him, her gaze met his and he felt his mouth go dry. She wasn't just stunningly beautiful, or even just the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. The goddess demanded his attention, and his body went numb and warm. He felt at ease, yet his pulse was rising.

She's so attractive.

He forgot the situation at hand, just watched her as she approached him. Andrew's mind was filled with sexual fantasies and visions filled with desire, and he wanted nothing more than to fulfill those. Andrew quickly fell under her influence, sooner than most would.

"Please just help her. The witch can wait."

Her voice was so alluring, it was a pleasant sound in his ears. He felt compelled to help her, to do anything for her. "Yeah," he replied. It made sense. Aria would be fine, if she got worse, she could just be taken to the hospital. This was more important, and Aria looked as if she was okay. Everything would be fine, Andrew would do this. It would hurt, but really, it was nothing.

Please

"Of course," he muttered, and sat down, using his abilities to examine the girl. He really didn't have enough left of his natural power to do anything about it. Instead, he put a hand on the hurt girl, and started accessing the knowledge given to him by the ambrosia. "I'll get right to it. Please take Aria to the hospital if she gets worse before I wake up." Andrew kept his eyes trained on the goddess as he started using the power, unable to look away. It became painful, and he expressed that pain silently, shaking, wanting to stop. However, he knew he couldn't, he was aiding the goddess... and saving someone's life.

Even pinned, Shiro was still ready to fight. He had dealt with bigger falls than this, only his pride was a bit wounded but he'd get over it. He figured he could make a wind to push himself up something if need be.

Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Prometheus coming to help him, but his attention seemed more focused on the beautiful goddess standing in the center at the alter. Despite himself, he couldn't help but stare at her beauty.

"Please just help her. The witch can wait." Vera heard Venus say to Andrew; drawing her attention back. Vera had little trouble with Andrew helping heal the demigoddess; but Vera had no intention of letting Aria suffer for it. She waited for Jon and Prometheus to get into a position to strike at targets, then let up the gale - starting with her allies of course - and made her way back to Aria.

"I'll get right to it. Please take Aria to the hospital if she gets worse before I wake up." Andrew said, making his way over to the demigoddess. Vera wasn't one to hesitate when the doctor said something. When she reached Aria, she waited there as a small vortex, ready to intercept any attacks aimed at Aria and to be as loud as possible in the event Venus tried to order anyone else around; she couldn't use her full influence if no one could hear her.

Meanwhile, all Vera could think was "Way to release the mind-controlling goddess Vera. Just what we all needed."

"Oh, I, have, had, It." Aria growled. "You better not fucking be around when I get better cause I'm gonna re-arrange your face if you are!!" Aria shouted, into the the roar of Vera's wind form "Ungrateful whore ... I hope Dio captures you again and finishes what he was starting when Vera showed up." Again, her curse was drowned out by the roar of the wind around her, though her second out burst made her cough up a little blood, which she hid from the others, Vera would have been the only one to have seen it, and likely the only one to care the way things where. "Vera, Can you help me up? I can't stand on my own and I feel no need to waste my time further here, the nearest hospital is fine, if the whore is going to waste our healers energy on that worthless whelp, then I feel no need to wait for him to finish"

"Vera, Can you help me up? I can't stand on my own and I feel no need to waste my time further here, the nearest hospital is fine, if the whore is going to waste our healers energy on that worthless whelp, then I feel no need to wait for him to finish" Aria said, going ballistic. Vera couldn't really blame her.

She considered the options for a moment before using her wind to pick Aria up as carefully as she could manage and make there way toward the door. Hopefully Andrew would be fine after the healing was done and be able to help Aria. Otherwise... well she didn't want to think about how much trouble they'd all be in.

"It's a surprise! I don't think it would be quite as romantic if it wasn't."

Apollo spoke lightly with a wink. His choice of words were designed to test Nicole's reaction, though it had become clear she was quite comfortable around him.

As the plane began to descend, Nicole caught a glimpse of a very familiar landscape. It was mid afternoon in Des Moines as the plane landed on another private airstrip, though this one was populated with several jets, and people walking to and fro.

"I was thinking maybe you'd be able to show me around. I can't say I've ever visited."

Apollo was clearly enjoying Nicole's reaction, even more so when they stepped outside and onto her home ground. Still dressed in a rather classy dress, the beginnings of summer heat caught her off guard, the sun still in the sky, a strange transition.

Apollo lead her to a small, black car, opening the door for her and settling himself in the drivers seat.

"So where to?"

"It's a surprise! I don't think it would be quite as romantic if it wasn't."

"Alright, I look forward to it then," Nicole said with a grin as she sat down next to Apollo. She got a coffee from the woman behind the bar and drank it, not wanting to fall asleep, and spent the rest of the flight gazing out the window or at Apollo. He is very handsome, and he's spent a lot of time looking at me so its only fair, she thought jokingly to herself.

As the plane descended she looked out the window again, spotting a surprisingly familiar cityscape. That's Des Moines, how far did we fly? How fast is this plane? Surprise lingered on her face when Apollo spoke again.

"I was thinking maybe you'd be able to show me around. I can't say I've ever visited."

"Thank you so much, I could kiss you for this," she said, she was so stunned by this latest gift it took her a few moments to realize how hot it was outside especially given that she was wearing a long black dress. She raised a hand to shield her eyes from the sun and felt herself start to sweat, normally not a sensation she minded but the dress made it rather uncomfortable. She hurriedly followed Apollo into the car which thankfully was much cooler.

"So where to?"

She had to think for a few moments, it was strange but wonderful to be back home, she knew she had to try and get in contact with her father while she was here, just let him know she was fine, but at the same time she wasn't sure she should see him like this. He would have too many questions, wonder why she was dressed like she was, what she had been doing, who she was with. He might even try to talk her into staying home, and she knew she couldn't abandon the others, but at the same time wasn't sure if she would be able to resist if he asked her to stay home. I can't go see him, but I need to let him know I'm ok.

"There isn't too much to show off," she said "But the capitol building and the sculpture park are always nice places to look at, we could also go see if the Symphony is playing anything."

She directed him where to go, and as they drove pointed out buildings and streets, explaining what they were and telling stories about her memories of them. They neared the neighborhood where she lived before any of the attractions she had mentioned, though the gold dome of the capitol building could be seen in the distance, and she turned to Apollo.

"We're getting close to my home, do you have an envelope?" she asked "I want to leave a message for my dad, make sure he knows I'm safe."

Steven was thrown on the ground. He could barely move, let alone talk.

"Doesn't she know which us is on her side?" He bitterly thought, trying to inch away from a cultist.

Andrew

Andrew felt the ambrosia painfully pouring out of him and into the girl. Her burns began to fade, her wounds closing over, though with enormous cost for the young doctor. He felt deep pains on his chest and side, where the girl had herself been injured. The Ambrosia flowed back now, carrying with it the pain and exhaustion from her injuries. It could be controlled; Andrew felt that, be he lacked the experience necessary. Pain and exhaustion racked his body, and he collapsed.

The coma brought with it a powerful dream. Memories from both the youth and Andrew mixed in a nightmarish vision of pain. He saw a man, teeth dripping with blood, covered in tattoos, lashed with chains to a pillar.

He laughed at Andrew.

"A visitor? This is quite exciting."

Straining against the chains, he watched Andrew like a hunter.

Venus

The Goddess quickly swooped to the girl, removing her weapons, tossing them carelessly aside. The youth had returned to normal, though somewhat wild eyed. the Goddess cradled her in her arms.

"Oh god Mahla, what did he do to you..."

The youth was silent. Andrew still lay crumpled on the floor. Venus heard the titan and twisted her head sharply, eyes blazing.

"That's not my name anymore."

She sternly whispered into the youths ear, before getting up and carrying Andrew to the Titan, handing him down off the altar.

Aria & Vera

Aria was wounded, though her bleeding had slowed, the constant, dull ache had set in. Propped up by Vera, all the two of them could do was stare at the goddess. It was if she was somehow magnetic; all either of them wanted was to just be closer to her.

Vera felt the struggle of the Maenads begin to subside as the group picked them off one by one.

Prometheus

The Titan saw Andrew collapse and exhaled. He had seen ambrosia before, though never used by someone half human. It wrenched his heart to know such pain, and quickly made his way to the altar, stepping heavily on any maenads. Before speaking, he quickly snatched the youths spear and transferred it to his shield hand.

"Aphrodite. Give the boy to me, he needs rest."

Taking Andrew over his shoulder, he took him out of the monastery and back to the van, laying him down on one of the beds. He hastily scribbled a note explaining what was happening, before returning to the monastery, locking the van behind him.

Prail, Shiro, Jon, Steven

The wind was lifted from the group, though still pressing hard against the maenads, effectively offering the easiest of kills.

Andrew was in pain. Agonizing pain, yet he was moving, somehow. He wasn't sure where to, or why. Nothing made sense anymore, and the warm, comforting sense of desire and lust had left his body and mind as soon as he had closed his eyes. He really didn't know where he was.

"A dream?" he asked aloud. No one answered. No one was there.

No... not true. Though everything else was hazy and easily forgotten he noticed a man. A man with wild eyes and sharp teeth, bound to a pillar with chains. His body was covered in tattoos, and he laughed, though Andrew wasn't sure whether if it was amusement, or something else.

"A visitor? This is quite exciting."

Andrew took a step back. He was alone, not scared, but still alone, tired and in pain, easily overpowered. "Who are you?" he asked, not sure if he expected an answer. Still, this guy was the only thing that he could see clearly there. "Where am I? And why are we the only people here?"

This doesn't feel right...

ignore

With the pressure easing off him, Shiro suddenly found himself able to move, quickly, he summoned up a wind to propel him upright. Sword drawn, he charged into battle again, but for some reason, he couldn't help but feel uneasy.

Something about that woman in the center made it very hard to focus on the battle at hand... No! Shiro shook his head. Not now, he had to stay stable! Shiro turned all his attention on the attacking cultists, for both himself and the others...

I could kiss you for this...

Apollo grinned wide at that, looking over at her, eyes darting between her and the road.

"Careful now. You don't want to make any promises."

Listening to her suggestions, a forced but nevertheless convincing expression of interest formed on his face. Having experienced the heights of both sculpture and music, he doubted there would be anything new for him here. But he hid it from Nicole, trying not to hurt her feelings. Picking up his tone, he spoke light heartedly.

"The park sounds nice! We could get some desert as well on the way. Though really it looks more like lunch time..."

As they passed through a somewhat suburban neighbourhood, Nicole asked for a letter. Apollo stiffened at the mention of her home, attempting to keep his composure but losing his previous confidence once more. Her ties to her family stirred discomfort in him. Perhaps he had chosen wrong?

"I uh, yes, there should be one in the glove compartment."

Opening the compartment, Nicole saw a stack of unused envelopes, various stamps and fountain pens, as well as three glass boxes filled with gold, silver and black discs respectively. There also appeared to be a small ring, with an intricately carved seal adorned in black onyx.

Pulling up, he gave Nicole time to write, lossening the tie around his neck, and turning the radio on to some obscure, quiet rock.

Steven managed to crawl up from the floor. He was covered with spilled wine and blood (thankfully not his).

The cultists were still pin down. So vulnerable, so weak, so easy to kill.

He stepped over to the nearest monster, and stomped on it's head. And stomped again, and again.

Steven smashed the creature's skull well beyond the point even a god would have died, trying to make sure there was nothing left.

When the skull was nothing but blood and fragments, he went over to the next one, repeating the process with rage in his eyes and tears falling down his cheeks.

Her fingers fumbled with the knife, the blood was making things a bit slippery. Etna paused to wipe the ruby-red liquid on her jeans while holding the knife in her mouth - between her teeth. The taste was bitter, foul and ferrous. She spat, trying to rid herself of the taste, but it didn't really help. A sudden sound alarmed her - was that a crow? Etna had to investigate further. Her foot brushed up against some soft lumps on the ground, on inspection they turned out to be corpses - more specifically, the corpses of monks.

Arrows pined them down to the ground. The soft hiss of a shower was the next notable sound to enter her ears. It only reminded her of how much she wanted the damn blood washed away. Not that the murder of a couple of crazy women had affected her. That was self-defense, or at least that was what Etna told herself. They had already chosen which side to back anyways, their deaths were simply a consequence of that. Regardless, there was a slight problem.

Where to go from here?

Every door she came across was shut tight. It looked like she had only one choice: the source of the shower. Etna crept closer and closer, taking in deep breaths. She willed herself to be calm, she willed whatever lay before to be calm. The sliver glinted slightly as the demigoddess slowly approached the room. Closer, and closer and closer she crept. However was in the shower would just have to deal being exposed. Though, Etna didn't think for a second that whoever it was would be completely helpless.

After all, worse case scenerio, it was probably some legendary figure.

She landed badly; good think Shiro was there give her some breathing room. Her weapon landed at her feet, she was just about to pick it up when well she honestly wasn't sure what happened. But she was knocked off her feet again (easier the second time) she hit her head, ow.

Don't know how long that lasted, she spaced out not a good idea no telling what happened in her head but she came back different. When the wind released her she sprang back into action, a simple slash sent spurting saffron sprays spilling from a single slit in a poorly placed jugular that was being used by a cultist up until very recently. No guilt just glee in the gleam of her weapon.

"Who's next? I'm not done yet."

She was tense, ready to pounce on anyone who tried anything, or even people who didn't rapidly shifting her eyes.

"Whoever did that to me is going down."

Barely noticed the lack of vines and a now freed woman, not that she was much to look at.

"Who are you?" Prail didn't intend to point her spear when asking the question just sort of habit.

"Careful now. You don't want to make any promises."

She only smiled at this, Apollo listened to her suggestions, looking surprisingly interested in her opinion. Des Moines wasn't the most exciting city, certainly its attractions didn't compare to Paris. He spoke sounding quite happy.

"The park sounds nice! We could get some dessert as well on the way. Though really it looks more like lunch time..."

"Dessert sounds great," she said, "I'm afraid the restaurants around here aren't going to be as good as the ones in Paris though."

Understatement of the year that, but I'm sure he realized that already. They arrived at her neighborhood and she made her request, causing Apollo to stiffen. He seemed discomforted by her request but complied nonetheless. What did I say to put him on edge? Talking about my family?

"I uh, yes, there should be one in the glove compartment."

She opened the glovebox to see a number of different objects, envelopes, a pen, and glass disks containing various disks and a small black ring with a strange sigil. She ignored those for now grabbing paper, an envelope and a pen. She thought for a moment then started to write, glad she had grabbed the bag of gifts out of the plane.

It wasn't long but she was afraid that saying too much more would just make him more worried than he might already be. She folded up the note and placed it into the envelope, then placed the two necklaces she had bought for her parents into the envelope with it. She exited the car and walked as quickly as the dress would allow, and placed the envelope in the mailbox outside her home. She stood there for a few moments before forcing herself to turn back towards the car, walking slowly at first but her pace increasing until she got back into the vehicle. It was hard to turn back, being so close to home, but she knew she had to. If anything it left her certain that she made the right decision in not meeting her father, she knew she would never be able to turn back if he asked her to stay.

She took a deep breath as she sat back down and closed the door behind her, feeling herself relax again. She had left the glovebox open and she looked down into it with some curiosity.

"Thank you for letting me do that," she said, continuing to relax, she reached into the glove box and picked up the ring "What is all this by the way? If you don't mind my asking that is."

Venus

The goddess looked down at the white-haired girl, slitting the necks of conquered foes with twirls of her halberd. The Goddess stood to her full height, her daughter breathing heavily at her side, doubled over.

"I am Venus, and I assume we are on the same side, no?"

She shot a smouldering look towards Aria, her deep brown eyes almost leaping into flames. Her white robe was stained with patches of blood from her daughter, and she quickly tore small shreds off off the bottom, fastening the unwieldy garment into a more practical covering.

"We should leave this place. There are more Gods here, and I don't fancy a fight. You're heading North, no? By what transport?

Her tone had taken almost a militaristic quality, though it was still somewhat alluring. She lifted the girl up to her feet properly, eyeing Aria.

"Shes not a threat. Not now. I will deal with her when we part ways, but for now let's just keep moving?"

She awaited both Prail and Arias response, eager to leave.

Prometheus

The Titan returned to the monastery to find Steven, Shiro and Prail finishing the last of the maenads. Steven wrecked terrible vengeance upon them, standing them in place of Remus and Ables killer. It wasnt closure, but it vented his furious anger, leaving him emotionally drained. Shiro was precise and clean in his cuts, though emotionally nervous and unsure. Prometheus gave them both and affirming nod. Keeping his eyes focused on something other than Venus, he ran over the recent events in his mind.

Andrews in the car...Vera is the wind...Aria is still alive...

Looking at Aria, he frowned deeply. Andrew shpluls have helped her. Though perhaps it wasn't his choice. Smiling, he offered her help.

"Need a hand? I have painkillers and stuff in the van, well grab some bandages and you'll be right as rain. Assummkng Andrew and Etna haven't stole-"

He froze and his blood ran cold. Prometheus didn't recall seeing Etna in the van. Or in the monastery. Leaving Prail and Aria as ambassadors, he quickly yanked Steven and Shiro hard by the shoulders.

"Where's Etna? The dark haired girl?!"

He realized Shiro hadn't gotten to know them by name, and hoped frantically someone had seen her. He felt like yelling out her name, but didn't want to risk the unwanted attention.

Etna

Etna crept into the room, spying the large collection of silver tokens identical to the one found on Loki's body. There was also a scrumpled, bloodied pile of clothes, high boots and a quiver. She caught a glimpse of a female in the shower, who was humming loudly, steam partly obscuring her.

Etna was still in the room when the sound of the shower stopped, and a girl of very similar age stepped out in a towel. Her eyes were sharp green and her facial features rather pointed, though her skin was a deep chestnut, matching her hair.. She saw Etna and froze in the arch between rooms, quiver out of reach and dressed in a towel.

"Who the fuck are you?"

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

The man laughed at Andrews questions, a howling, maniacal laugh that echoed around the walls, before sounding out above them through the seemingly never ending expanse. It was dark, save for the man, the pillar and a narrow track of concrete leading away.

"She didn't know who I am. She didn't know where she was. And neither do you, boy. Though I suppose, neither do I. Its your dream, monster."

The last word made Andrew double over in pain. The memories of Able and Remus rose in and out of perception, though all he could feel was a stark emptiness. The man laughed again, cooing softly to Andrew.

"Ah, now now. The pain won't last too much longer. Should have helped your friend though..."

Arias lifeless figure appeared in front of Andrew, and silence fell over them both.

"Where's Etna? The dark haired girl?!" Prometheus yelled at Steven and Shiro. If Vera had a voice, she'd have sighed. "Once more into the breech I suppose" she thought as she placed Aria on the ground near Prometheus (and more importantly far from Venus). As seemed to have become her job, Vera took off through the building trying to find their missing companions.

"Why does EVERYONE get lost?" she grumbled, really disliking the fact she needed to search for everyone. Truth told, her grumblings had more to do with being away from Venus...

"We are on the same side no?"

"Venus?" Prail hadn't recognised her though was it surprising that a goddess of beauty would have had work done. "I'm Prail, and yes it would appear we're friends."

Which is when she lowered her spear.

"So what's going on I'm still not sure? As for transport we have a van but it'll get pretty crowded soon."

"Where's Etna? The dark haired girl?!"

Shiro practically jumped when Prometheus spoke up loudly. "Um... I don't know, I think she might have left. Should someone go after her?"

"We are on the same side no?" He heard the goddess speak up to, but avoided his gaze, lest he become distracted. Instead, he focused on the others, hoping they were alright.

Aria totally ignored Venus's comment toward her, though Aria was doing her level best to push the bitch out of her head as well so she also missed the glare, she instead replied to Prometheus "I still have some from earlier in the van as well, but I'll take that lift back though" Vera set her down to go look for Etna who also seems to have wandered off, Aria just smirked, she found it funny that another one of them had wandered off at a bad time, though she did hope Etna didn't end up finding trouble like she did.

"She didn't know who I am. She didn't know where she was. And neither do you, boy. Though I suppose, neither do I. Its your dream, monster."

Monster. The word was painful to hear, physically, though he didn't understand the meaning. Andrew just wanted the pain to stop. Then, images, memories, of Remus and Able came to mind, and he started feeling empty. No sadness, yet again. Andrew felt sick, as sick as he had felt when he had grabbed that one bottle of morphine, back then. However, back then Andrew had been stressed, it had only been a short moment as well. The emptiness hadn't disappeared, however. Even now. Even now, he had no ability to mourn anyone.

No...

Why was he feeling empty? Why did he have to be the only one?

Monster.

He wasn't a monster. He shouldn't even let it bother him. However, why was it only him?

Apollo too?

No. He had thought so, but really, how could Andrew judge anyone? His perception of others was based on disinterest and arrogancy, and he had barely spoken to Apollo. He had no way of knowing.

I don't know anyone. I'm all alone.

Even among others, he was alone, unable to understand them.

No time had passed at all, yet he was snapped out of his state of emptiness by a laughter.

"Ah, now now. The pain won't last too much longer. Should have helped your friend though..."

A vision of Aria this time, lifeless. Andrew shook his head, she had been okay. Nothing had happened to her. However, he knew he was wrong.

She wasn't fine.

And he had just let her be. Fallen into temptation and let Aria suffer for it, just so that he could aid some beautiful goddess.

No wonder I'm all alone.

Apollo shrugged nonchalantly as Nicole apologized for the restaraunts. She quickly slipped the letter by and returned with a hint of sadness, a subtlety the God chose to ignore. As he began driving back towards the park, she pawed at his ring curiously.

He arched his eyebrows. Apollo knew he had been an absent parent, but hadn't expected so of Nike, much less the other gods.

"That? Thats my seal stone. If anything needs my proof of support, that's how you know it's authentic. Surely old man Zeus showed you his when he issued you your tokens..."

As they pulled up outside the park, he softly plucked the ring from her fingers and slipped it on, a sadness in his eyes.

"I guess I should probably be wearing it, huh..."

Immediately perking back up, he hoisted Nicole up and out of the car, lifting her over a small puddle, feigning weakness as he did so.

"Can't...hold...too...heavy..."

Setting her down, he used the pretense of dusting his hands to remove the ring once more, slipping it into his breast pocket, before taking her by the hand to a small ice cream stand. The park was spotted with couples, families and the odd runner, and was an overwhelmingly normal yet comforting experience.

Aware he was hard pressed for time, he was practically dragging Nicole, grinning as he did.

"Times a-ticking. What's your flavour?"

Killing the cultists hadn't quelled everything that was going on within him, just made Steven fill drained. He only wanted to crawl up into one of those beds and sleep for hours and...

"Where's Etna? The dark haired girl?!"

Steven was shocked and didn't know what to say.

"Etna?" Steven looked around, "I thought she was with you... oh crap."

Steven shouldered the shotgun again. "She may be lost somewhere else in the monostary, or maybe she was grabbed by one of these things during the fight. We need to look for her."

He looked around the altar, looking for the door to the inner parts of the church.

"That? That's my seal stone. If anything needs my proof of support, that's how you know it's authentic. Surely old man Zeus showed you his when he issued you your tokens..."

"I don't think Zeus ever gave us anything like that, just brought us to Australia in a storm and handed us off to Prommy, er, Prometheus," she said, Apollo took the ring and she closed the glovebox.

"I guess I should probably be wearing it, huh..."

Apollo slipped the ring on, he looked sad for a moment if only in his eyes, but quickly cheered up. He lifted her out of the car and over a puddle.

"Can't...hold...too...heavy..."

He said, in what had to be a joke, before he set her down and took her hand moving quickly through the park towards and ice cream stand. He practically dragged her along at first though she quickened her pace to match his. It had been so long since she had last been to the park, and it felt strange to be there dressed as she was, but all the same she felt delighted to be home. Back among normalcy, if only for a little while. Apollo turned to her, his broad grin sparking a smile on her own face.

"Times a-ticking. What's your flavour?"

"Vanilla with chocolate chips," she said as they reached the stand, she let Apollo pay for the ice cream and they started to walk through the park again. She wondered how much time they actually had left on the date, almost wishing it could go for longer.

"Who the fuck are you?"

Well, this was the girl she had seen glimpse of earlier, even though Etna wasn't entirely comfortable with sneaking up on people while they showered - god, goddess, or no. However, a glint of silver among bloodied clothes, boots and a quiver - among other things - had caused her to venture forward. Rather like a breadcrumb trail. Nevertheless, it didn't make the experience of being caught off by a green-eyed girl any more pleasant. To be fair, she looked like she was the one caught off guard. Being the one stuck in a towel, that was probably the case. Still, Etna didn't think that the strange girl in front of her was helpless for one second. The black-haired girl only had guess to who the chestnut-skinned girl might be, but they were only guess... Etna smiled nervously and tried to quench the strange girl's hostility - just a precaution. She also moved slowly towards the quiver - just enough to be in range to grab it if the chestnut-skinned girl tried anything. It was a tricky situation.

"Funny that, I was about to ask the same question." Etna said, "I'm Etna, and you are?"

Apollo narrowed his eyes as he handed Nicole her ice-cream, the God himself sporting peppermint choc-chip. Nicole could almost see the gears at work in his head, his eyes lost in thought, staring albeit somewhat strangely off into space. An errant frisbee passed alarmingly close to him, and still he remained unmoved.

Finally breaking his concentration, he looked at Nicole, his voice grave and serious. Any pretense of ignoring the situation she would return to was apparently dropped.

"So...you're not bound to him..."

Taking a slow deliberate bite of ice-cream, his movements were slow and precise. Walking over to a bench, he held his head in his hand, trying to work things through. The God looked remarkably like Andrew.

"Wait. Does Prometheus have one?! Does anyone have one!?"

His thoughts and speech becoming more erratic, Apollo met Nicole's gaze and implored her attention. His voice was kept low and rushed.

"Why are you doing this then? And why didn't he give you a token...if the others find you..."

Checking his watch, he cursed. Running out of time, he brought out a black token from his pocket. It shimmered eerily with the mark of his signet ring, the disc roughly the size of a large coin.

"Do you trust me?"

Apollo seemed lost in thought as he bought the ice cream, standing still and paying little attention to his surroundings as he considered what she had said. Nicole felt herself becoming somewhat worried by this, is the token thing that bad? I would have thought that Prommy counted as Zeus's personal sign of support... Apollo looked at her suddenly, speaking in a grave and serious voice that surprised her, especially considering how relaxed he had been before.

"So...you're not bound to him..."

"I guess not," she said, "Why does that matter though?"

Apollo continued to think, now moving over to a bench and sitting down clutching his head in his hands. She could almost see the gears turning in his head though she had no idea what was troubling him so. The thought struck her that he looked even more like Andrew now than before, though she wasn't quite sure why.

"Wait. Does Prometheus have one?! Does anyone have one!?"

"I don't think so, Prometheus never gave us any to my knowledge, and if he has one himself he hasn't mentioned it," she responded, becoming increasingly worried by what this might mean.

Apollo looked up and met her gaze, he seemed almost panicked now, speaking quickly and with an erratic pace.

"Why are you doing this then? And why didn't he give you a token...if the others find you..."

"I'm doing this to save people from Dio, I don't know why-" she was cut off by Apollo pulling out a black coin, a token, and holding it up to her.

"Do you trust me?"

"I, I guess I do," Nicole said, taken aback by the question. While the circumstances of the date itself could be considered suspect Apollo himself had given her no reason to mistrust him so far, but even with that she had only known him for a very short time.

"Just slow down, what does all this mean?" she said, her tone expressing her confusion.

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