Books of Fate - Part One


dee_icon.jpg hikaru_icon.jpg vette_icon.jpg scrivner_icon.jpg lin_icon.jpg josh_icon.jpg andrew_icon.jpg tybalt_icon.jpg

Scene Title Books of Fate - Part One
Synopsis A group of Scions go to listen to a lecture at a library, and they end up reading more than they bargained for.

Public Library - Midtown South

Stretching all the way from the mid-point of Manhattan, down the East River to the Village, Lower Midtown Manhattan sprawls out, covering a variety of ground. The hustle and bustle of the active scene, much like Midtown North with its corporate skyscrapers, daily work crowds and vendors on street corners. The United Nations Complex sits here, against the east waterfront, as do many other important and historic sites such as Grand Central Station, and the Chrysler Building. Nestled between the Midtown Corporate area and the Theatre District stands the City's Public Library.

After the evening rush hour, when the people have flooded back into the subways or into their cars for the commute back to New Jersey or Long Island, Midtown becomes a much more sedate place. Because while many people work in the Midtown area, far fewer actually live there.

The New Atlantis Public Library is brimming today. It seems that one of Columbia's professor of anthropology with a focus on folklore and thus considered a Scion expert is giving a talk. "The Search For The Highest Treasure" is the title of her talk and thus she has gotten quite a group of people in the library. It's supposed to be interesting from the talks. Something highly intellectual, but considering she was a student of the late Joseph Campbell, it should hopefully be compelling.

The rest of the library is buzzing about. New Atlanteans like knowledge. It is part of the culture, and thus, the seats are already starting to fill. Of course, there are refreshments to be served. Orange juice, coffee, some sodas, danishes, and other pastries are on the tables while people are settling in for the little symposium.

Vette has found her new favorite place in all the world. While waiting for the talk, she is scanning the shelves, looking for history books on Atlantis and looking generally ecstatic. It had never occurred to her that there would be this new, cool library, with lectures. She could almost forgive them everything for seeing this—almost. If there were some way to just yoink the library and send the rest of them home she'd be all about that as a solution. The real trick of the evening might be there for her bandmates; trying to drag her out of there. Or trying to drag her out of there after checking out a minimum of 25 books. If they do "checking out" at this library.

Dee glances at the title of the lecture, but it doesn't seem to be holding her attention. It's more interesting to watch Vette, really, though she's also very interested in what they might be able to find here. She murmers to her Bandmates "You know… our personal property didn't change. If we take some of these books out and keep them at the hub, will they change back when we fix the city? Might be interesting to find out." Between the cop and the son of Tyr, Dee's got to be thrilling them with that sort of talk.

Lin stays close to the rest of his bandmates, glancing around at the changes. He shrugs to himself, considering he really never paid attention to the library when it was "normal." He looks to Dee at her comment before chuckling lightly. "Well, you are permitted to check books out of libraries?" He offers before glancing to see if the lecture has started.

So yeah. Josh isn ot really the library type. Josh is…The kinda guy who might go to a sporting event, or be in a sporting event. However, the hotel he was staying at just had their internet go down, so he quickly jogged his way over to the library, because libraries are great places to find internet or for homeless people to go BM. Either way, he's trying to find a computer he can use. Because the trailer to his new movie is out.

Not entirely relaxed here, but unwilling to deny the redheaded lady a chance to explore a library as wondrous as this, Rufus Scrivner hangs close to Vette. Dee's suggestion gets him glancing over his shoulder at the lady, arching an eyebrow. He doesn't say anything, but the look suggests disapproval.

Ah… the public library place of books and lectures. The last place in the universe that Drew Drake would find himself. Though he was in one of the subbasement levels going over some files in the archive for some nefarious purpose. So When the elevator opens to the main floor the doors open and let Drake loose on to the main level. His eyes catching sight of a display of Ian Fleming's James Bond. The man stops in front of the display scratching his head and eyeing the books.

Click clack, click clack. The sounds of black pumps can be heard on the tile floor of the npublic library as a woman in her mid fifties steps out. She looks like Meryl Streetp from the Devil Wears Prada. She gives a curt smile as she looks around the little lecture area that has been setup for the library as she sets up her little power point presentation thing with the latest and greatest in Atlantean technology. She has the X-9000, the Atlantean iPad in her hands as she taps away and blinks as the holoscreen projects the title and her name.

"The Search for the Highest Treasure" by Alejandra HERnAndez. No, that wasn't a typo.

Dee can't help a slight smirk. She does like to tease him sometimes. Not that she isn't serious about it, though. She'd absolutely take some, just to see if they stay as they are now. "Hey, if they do change back, they get returned with a late fee. If they don't change back, I'll make a nice donation. Either way, the library doesn't really lose anything." she says to them, then considers. "Okay. So if we want to find real information on Atlantis and what happened, we look in non-fiction or reference? I'm thinking encyclopedias might be useful here."

Tybalt has arrived.

Vette looks up thoughtfully at the way that is spelled. By Hera, perhaps? She stops looking and says, "Well, let's listen to the lecture first," she says. "And then the encyclopedias can send us to some /real/ reference material." Vette is highly disdainful of encyclopedias as anything other than a bare starting point.

Lin moves to take his seat for the lecture. He shifts, getting comfortable in the chair. He looks over to Dee for a moment before leaning towards Vette and Dee. "Well, if everything has changed. Maybe Wikipedia got changed too with the real updated info?"

There's a cute girl here. Well, cute is a bit of an understatement, she's literally at the peak of human perfection. In spite of this, she has a rather gentle, demure look about her. Approachable. Kind. One doesn't often see Japanese girls with blonde hair outside of the ganguro or cosplay subcultures. She's dressed in normal clothes, a billowy sleeveles white dress, a denim jacket with short sleeves, and strappy-style sandal shoes that heel-clack slightly as she walks, much like the presenter's shoes. She makes her way through the stacks, smoothing out her skirt. She doesn't appear to really know why she's here. Maybe nobody knows why they're here. Maybe it's just one of those things. Right place at the right time. Or some variation thereof. She finds herself approaching Vette, Dee, and Lin, but she keeps a save distance. For the moment.

Having been something of a myth buff, and a literary mind, and a Harvard Grad. Tybalt Odeman is the sort of idle rich that can afford coming to such events to learn a little about new things and to leave a check behind for the betterment of the library system. Wether he sees the Atlantean take over as positive or negative is of no importance here. He's not thrilled, but change is hard to get used to some times and from what it seems, people are better of, so of course Ty is here to learn what he can about the Atlanteans. He makes his way indoors wearing his typical Jeans, hooded sweatshirt and cowboy hat that covers his shaggy mop of blonde hair. He makes his way to the info desk to see where the lecture will be held.

Not only does Josh not spend a lot of time in libraries, but he also has an incredibly short attention span. SO when that really fancy projector with a holoscreen comes up, he blinks and then looks at it, "Oooh." He says, as he finds himself completely distracted by the presentation that's about to go on, "That's so cool.." He pauses for a minute, "Oh man, my movie would look awesome as a hologram.."

Rufus' mouth tightens to a thin line, and he shakes his head. Sometimes, he just doesn't know if the woman's teasing him or not. Kind of hard to tell sometimes. When the Streep-lookalike comes in and begins setting up, he gently nudges Vette's elbow. "I wouldn't mind listening to her myself," he quietly murmurs. "There'll be time enough afterwards to search through the books." But he'll wait for Vette to lead the way to get seats. This is more her thing than his.

And so the lecture begins…

"In the oldest myths from Babylonia, Assyria and other ancient populations, the storytellers and poets beautifully detailed a particular idea about psychic resonance, one that modern, mythologists, theologians and artists continue to take up with interest. This very old idea about mythic reverberation was understood as one which takes place in a triad between Creator, individual human being, and the larger culture. Each mysteriously and deeply affects and inspires the other.

Thus, in a number of tales, the psychological, moral and spiritual states of the heroic character, of the king or queen, were directly reflected in the health of the people, the land, the creatures and the weather. When the ruler was ethical and whole, the culture was too. When the ruler was ill from having broken taboos or had become sick with power, greed, hatred, sloth envy or other ailments, the land fell into famine. People weakened and died. Eveyone turned on one another and nothing new could be born.."

And with that, Professor HERnAndez starts to pace around, her lips pursed as she looks around at the various group, peering towards the PCs in the area.

Vette does indeed find good seats, and takes furious notes in a hand that got developed during college. Epic Dexterity meets Notetaking, GO! EPIC NOTETAKING! She is of course oblivious to the pretty girl coming in her direction.

Tybalt comes in just as the lecture is beginning and as such, the other seats have been taken, so he takes a place in the back and listens. Making mental notes about the similarities between Atlantean Culture and the Chinese 'Will of Heaven' sort of monarchy, which holds some of the same beliefs to be true. He pulls out a small pad and starts taking notes, listening intently.

Drew was looking over the James Bond novels and shrugs when he goes to leave but he crosses paths with Professor Hernandez and then catches sight of some of the people going inside. He shrugs, he was on a fact finding mission. The lecture would have facts right? So he sneaks into the back of the lecture hall a few minutes after it starts. Calling upon his sneaking skills from his college days.

Dee accepts majority rule, and joins the rest of her Band in listening to the lecture. She, too, lets Vette pick their seats. She skips the notetaking. It's nice, having a perfect memory. She does notice the girl, and looks curious. She also spots Tybalt though, and he gets a slight wave. She doesn't want to interrupt the speaker, after all.

Lin scrunches up his mouth for a moment as he tries to listen to the lecturer. He shifts in his seat, leaning more forward as if getting closer will help. He shifts his eyes as if to process the information.

The blonde haired Japanese girl looks peripherally familiar. Maybe even supernaturally resonates as familiar, yet different. Her eyes meet Dee's as Dee scans the area. Her lips part, and there's a wide smile of playful, friendly recognition. It's the kind you'd give a cherished friend, not the way you'd smile at someone you only just saw, but the Japanese girl can't explain anything yet. She's being polite and, like Dee, not interrupting the speaker. She doesn't need to take notes, it seems. Maybe she's not interested in the subject on an academic research basis. Maybe she has a perfect memory. Or maybe nobody's offering her extra credit to attend this lecture.

Following the lady's line of sight and her wave, Rufus glances away from Ms. Hernandez towards Tybalt, and he smiles brightly in recognition. Cousin! His own hand briefly lifts, a discreet wave of his fingers given in greeting should the younger man look his way. Soon enough, his attention returns to the lady speaker, and his eyebrows arch. Was it his imagination… or is she peering at his lady companions and him? Must be coincidence.

Josh probably looks out of place here. After all, he's a big guy in a t-shirt that's way too small for him. He gives a quick glance around at the gathering group who are watching this presentation. All of this stuff is way out of his mental paygrade, after all. He folds his arms over his chest, still listening, though.

"My doctoral thesis advisor, Joseph Campbell, brought this ancient idea into his work. Borrowing the term monomyth from James Joyce, he put forth the ancient idea that the mysterious energy for inspirations, revelations and actions in heroic stories worldwide is also universally found in human beings. People who find resonant heroic themes of challenges and questing in their own lives, in their goals, creative outpourings, in their day and night dreams are being led to a single psychic fact. That is, that the creative and spiritual lives of indivuiduals influence the outer world as much as the mythic world influences the individual."

With that, Professor HERnAndez continues to pace about, showing slides and retelling a few mythic stories from Gilgamesh and Endiku to the Queen of Heavens, Asherah, and it's connections to Judeo-Christian tradition.

Tybalt is -really- into the lecture. But he does see the wave and for a brief moment he is distracted enough to turns his attention towards his cousin and Vette and Dee, and Lin, all of which are grouped into the same easy gesture of greeting, which is a simple tilt of his hat back out of his face and a sort of cheshire grin. He nods and then goes back to scribbling, as Gilgamesh was one of his freshman term paper subjects.

Dee is curious, when the girl looks at her, though she smiles back. She can't exactly ask questions at the moment, while the lecture is going on. Instead, she politely pays attention to what the speaker is saying.

"By restating this primordial understanding, Campbell offers hope that the consciousness of the individual can prompt, prick and prod the whole of humankind into more evolution. His thesis, like those of the ancients, and also put forth in different ways by Freud, Jung and others, is that by entering and transforming the personal psyche, the surrounding culture, the life of the family, one's relational work and other matters of life can be transformed too. Since time out of mind, this has been understood as being best effected by journeying through the personal, cosmological and equally vast spiritual realities. One of my own students called this the Dark Hour. By being challenged via the failings and fortunes one experiences there, one is marked as belonging to a force far greater, and one is changed ever after.."

With that, there's another segue into more stories as examples. The good professor is on a roll as she continues to talk and talk away…

Vette /starts/ at the mention of the Dark Hour, looking like she's been hit on the back of the head with a board. Suddenly this lecture is taking on a Hell of a lot more signifigance for her, where before it was merely theoretical. She glances quickly at Rufus.

Tybalt stops writing and looks up. Narrowing his eyes a little bit at the memory of that place. He casts his eyes towards the others and then back up towards the speaker, writing down a pair of words.

Josh hasn't been through the Dark Hour, so those words just pretty much go over his head as much as everything else from this lecture does. Josh isn't really /stupid/, so to speak…But he's decidedly no genius here. He wonders why this lecture is being given at a library instead of a college or something like that.

Drew looks up when he hears the Dark Hour. Hey that's that tower with that creepy little girl god thing. Yea… So he start to pay more attention. But of course he doesn't look like he's paying attention. He's too busy trying to look cool.

And Rufus looks quickly and quietly at Vette, blinking in startlement of his own. He reaches over his hand to rest his fingers over her wrist, squeezing firmly. Soon he looks back at the lady speaker, listening to every word much more closely than before.

The blonde haired Japanese girl doesn't respond to the mention of the Dark Hour. At least not blatantly. There's no sudden gasp or shout of 'Objection!' or anything of that nature, just a Spock-like quirking of the eyebrow. Fascinating. She leans against one of the stacks, pressing her pale cheek to the cool metal. Maybe the Atlanteans use orichalcum for their book stacks, given the importance they place on wisdom. Or maybe they use the metal stacks they had here before the big change. No! Bad fox. Must pay attention to speaker.

Dee has settled into quiet, just listening. She does quirk a glance towards Vette and Rufus though, at their reaction to the Dark Hour mention.

Lin scrunches up his mouth as he tries to follow the logic before looking curiously to Dee and Rufus to see if it is sinking in with them. He slowly sits back up in his chair and glances off, following their gaze to the other parts of the room. He glances to the Japanese girl, but she doesn't look familiar to him. He looks back to Tybalt and offers him a dip of his head.

More blah blah…

"The idea to go forward, to seek wholeness without pausing to reconsider, debate or procrastinate one more time, this is not just found in the writings of the ancients, but it found in the twentieth-century poet Louise Bogan's work. She writes about commencing the momentous journey. Her poem, "The Daemon" refers to a being that guides each is believed to be born with, the one who guides the life and destiny of that child on earth. In the piece, she questions the greater soulful force about going forward in life. The daemon answers her quintessential question with the ancient answer: "It said, "Why not? and then It said, "Once more"…"

This simple and powerful encouragement to go on with the journey has been epressed in different words, at different times to the yearning, but timid, to the uncertain." with that, she starts looking at each of the Scions present. "The jaded, the hesitant, the dawdlers, the postponers, the fakers, the foolish, and the wise. Thus, since the beginning of time, humanity has lurched, walked, crawled, dragged and danced itself towards the fullest life with the soul possible.." she says.

The jaded? Vette thinks that could describe her very well. She finds she's stopped taking notes in favor of simply listening, the pencil listless in her hands before she starts chewing on it.

Tybalt keeps his mouth closed. When one doesn't know what to say, it is best they remain silent. He continues taking notes, nodding his head to the mention of Bogan and her works.

Josh is pretty sure that she just looked at him. Why would she look at him? He shakes it off, though. Probably just imagining it.

As she continues to speak, a group of six people, all of different ethnicities starts to go towards the stack of books that Vette took from the shelves. There's one that they're staring at, and there's an accidental bump of the tower of books to fall to the ground.

"Oh, excuse me.." the young woman says as she offers to help the stack of books be stacked up once more. Of course, with one book missing as she clutches it to her chest.

Like Vette notices. She jumps, then starts helping with the books. "No harm done," she whispers, with a smile. She had piled a /huge/ stack, so one missing from the pile doesn't even phase her.

Hesitant. Rufus' mouth tightens at that one, but he's still listening in silence. The bumping and the falling of books distracts him for only a split second, and he watches the little group, before his eyes go back to Hernandez.

Lin turns back in time to hear the comment, lifting up an eyebrow at the descriptive title for each of them. He scrunches his mouth before his attention is grabbed by the falling books. He looks to the group of people, glancing to Vette as she gets up to help.

Dee's eyes flicker to the group, taking them and the scene in briefly. She frowns at the distraction, then looks back to the speaker.

And it's back to Professor HERnAndez's speech. Her brows raise as she looks towards the group that has just entered with the book and grumbles something under her breath while she idly runs her fingers through her hair.

"And that of course brings us to various 'fool tales'. One in particularly is told in my old country family, which we called "The Hidden Treasure." The story begins with a group of brothers who were told by their father, the King, that whosoever could bring back to him the golden ttreasure of "what has great price and yet is priceless," should inherit his kingdom. Two of the brothers rush off with their maps and plans and scehemes in hand. They are certain, they will reach the goal first…

"But the third brother is portrayed as a fool. He throws a feather nup into the air, where it is taken up by the wind. He follows in the direction the feather leads him. His brothers jeer athim and say he will never learn and never be successful. Afterall, he is only a fool and fools inherit nothing but more foolishness until the end of their days.."

Tybalt doesn't really pay much attention to the book distraction. He keeps taking notes. He enjoys the fool Mythos. Br'er Rabbit, Coyote, Anansi, Hermes, Hanuman, the fool stories are epicly amusing and always good to hear.

Drew looks over at the collapse of books, and its interesting that the professor was talking about how power of knowledge is influenced by the collective thought of people. Then that basically happened. Of course Drew should have been paying attention to missing books but he was just watching the scene and listening.

Dee's eyes flicker to the group, taking them and the scene in briefly. She frowns at the distraction, then starts to look back to the speaker. Though, then the thief catches something that doesn't flow and her attention snaps back to the group. "Hey!" she says, moving quickly to intercept them. "We saw it first." She has no idea which one they took, but they ain't keeping it."

Hikaru finds herself smiling in spite of herself. In her experience, the fool is usually just using a clever misdirection. Playing at the fool is a good way to throw someone off the trail. Oh no, I'm a fool. I knocked over the books! Clumsy me. She leans against the shelves, still pressing her cheek against the cool metal. If she saw someone taking the book, she certainly didn't let on. Acting. Brilliant! Looking composed at all times! In reality: books? There were books there? Hikaru, newly blonde, has her first blonde moment.

"Huh?" Vette whirls around, and she follows after Dee. "What did we see first?" Beat. All she's carrying is a book. "My book? Did she take my book? I think she took my book." Captain Obvious strikes again, with the power of Perception that is still QUITE mortal.

Fool's tale? He'd been paying attention, but when the lady suddenly stands up to confront that group, Rufus turns his head around to blink. Slowly he stands up, glancing at Vette's stack of books and then at this interloper who nicked the one. He doesn't speak, unwilling to interrupt the lecture going on down there, but he walks forward towards the young woman.

Never having sat down, given the lecture filled up quickly. Seeing an issue, Tybalt doesn't move to stop the person, but he certainly will make his way to the exit and simply stand in it. Very politely….very….much like a blockade. It's not his fight so he isn't going to make a fist until it involves him. A skirmish over a book doesn't seem that important to him. But, who knows…treasure can be found when you aren't looking for it.

"Yes, and you didn't check it out. So that means it's free game." replies the one girl who clutches the book to her chest possessively. The rest of her crew starts to head on over. There's six of them and they stares back towards the others. "Now if you'll excuse us, we're checking it out now."

Lin frowns and turns as he finally notices the ruckus over the book. He pauses before moving over to join them. "What is going on here?" He asks curiously before lifting an eyebrow at the girl with the book. "We? Does it require six people to check out one book?"

At the sound of someone yelling, Josh turns and looks over at Dee and tries to see who she's after. Josh thinks that his best bet would be to intercede with the group that seems to be causing the disturbance. He is, after all, a rather big guy, and will probably be able to intimidate them into stopping whatever they're doing.

Dee arches an eyebrow at the girl. "You do not want to go there." she replies quietly, trying not to interrupt the lecture more than she's going to already. Meanwhile, she gets a good look at that book. Mmmm… Ariadne's Thread… The book is tagged. Even if they don't get it now, she can find it later. "It's in our stuff to check out. Wait your turn." She shows no intention of letting them leave with it.

Vette looks rather /outraged/. "Who does that?" she asks. "That's like—totally against library etiquette. That's the rudest thing I've ever heard." She whispers it, but she's emphatic. "I have /never/ had anybody do that in all my life."

"Gods.. I /do not/ have time for this.."

The young woman is incensed as she looks back towards her own crew. If there's any communication going on between the group of six, it's either telepathic or something else all together as all of a sudden she bursts into flame, her body emitting heat as the book too starts to burn. She chuckles as the rest of the group disappears in a rainbow light before tossing the burning book towards the door.

"Now that's done.." she quips, and she too disappears.

With the commotion of the burning book, the spontaneously combusting woman, and the rainbow bridge disappearance, the mortals start to flip. Professor HERnAndez looks absolutely incensed. Her speechifying and lecturing was interrupted! Mortals are going nuts! They're scrambling towards the exits which are blocked by Tybalt!

And with that too, she disappears all grumbly.

Tybalt quickly steps out of the way to let people pass by. He remains however, lifting his nose to the air and snorting a couple of times. "Can't track em." He offers helpfully. He starts to decend the steps towards the group of scions.

"You…" Rufus starts to say before… well, all Hell breaks loose. "Bloody Hell!" What the bloody freaking… He yanks off his jacket as fast as he can and goes darting after the book, darting past the group as they disappear so he can try to put out those flames by smothering them with his coat.

When the book bursts into flame, Dee moves immediately to grab and then smother the flames eating the book. Yay, Lightning Sprinter. She's going to hurt for it, since she'll grab for the thing even with its holder on fireeven before it's thrown if she can, but she needs to save as much of it as possible.

Drew stands up at the scene and goes to slip past the two bands. He doesn't know why their fighting over the book or who either of the players are in the scene. But he can feel a pull to the situation. As he's drawn to watch the argument band he picks up a bottle of water and twists it open taking a drink of water. Then everyone's disappearing and books are burning. Wow, he should have stayed at home and rented some netflicks. But he didn't and so he spits some water and he calls after Rufu and s, "Here man I got some water!"

With so many people helping with the book put out effort, Vette dances from foot to foot. "Oh my /god/ she burned a /BOOK/." She looks horrified. Like someone just tried to kill a kid or something. "Did you put it out? Is it out? Tell me the fire is out." Vette. She's in yur library. Spazzin' over yur bookz.

Josh is actually a bit surprised by this whole thing. So he doesn't even react when the woman bursts into flames and throws the burning book away, "Er…That was odd." Odd? Yeah, I guess that's one way to describe that.

Having been standing there, Lin quickly starts to help smother the fires, using his hands and feet. He isn't worried about burns. They will heal. The knowledge will be lost. He looks to the others as he pats and stomps. "Uhm…rainbow bridge? Isn't that what I think it is?"

Tybalt pipes up. "Rainbow Bridge, links Midgard to the rest of the world tree. Good to see it is still in operation, but then that begs the question why is Baldor letting people use it as a snatch and run?" He asks curiously, looking to Rufus. "You heard anything from the family in a while?"

Dee growls quietly, aggrevated. "I hope not." She says to Lin, then glances to Rufus, though. It's his pantheon. "You know, if the speaker was who I think? I really need to sacrifice something to apologize." She did notice the capitalizations in the name. She makes a mental note to do that later. "Help the normals get out of here, folks?" Meanwhile, she's examining the poor book to see the damage.

"What does the city in Final Fantasy Seven have to do with anything?" That would be Josh, who has no freaking idea what these people are going on about here.

Rainbow Bridge? Baldor? Name dropping Dad cause Drew to look over at Ty and this Rufus. His expression frowning, "You guys know Baldor?" Hey dear old Dad hadn't took it upon himself to actually meet Drew. That and this might make these two guys the first Aesir scions beyond himself he's met.

Hikaru's eyes widen as the book conflagrates and the culprits disappear. She approaches the group, angling her head to the side at a curious, almost inhuman angle. She doesn't seem to know what to do to help, however. Everyone is zipping all over the place and there's fire and water and people disappearing and madness and blasphemy. Madness? This is New Atlantis! Ahem. Her first reaction is try to address the professor. But alas, the professor is gone. Hikaru looks sad now. Not sure what else she can do, she trudges over to take a look at the chaos.

Andrew Drake stands at 6'2" and has large muscular shoulders. His white skin's has a tan color of a man, who works outside. He's got brown hair that's been cut short and spiked. His ears fit his head just sticking out enough to tell they are there. A pair of brown eyelashes rides just above a pair of pale baby blue eyes. He's got a board nose. Then finishing off his face is a pair of full lips and a clean shaven, strong jaw.

He wears a light blue henley with dark blue stripes. He wears a pair of dark jeans with stress marks and holes. A brown leather belt with a big eagle on the front belt buckle keeps the jeans up. He's got a pair of dark brown lop top lace up boots.

Pulling back his jacket, Rufus warily looks down at the book to see how badly damaged it is and then up at his cousin. He blinks at Tybalt with a great deal of surprise, and slowly, he says, "Yes, actually. Baldr would never have sanctioned this, I'm … fairly sure of it." And then he amends, "I… at least suspect he wouldn't. He seems more the sort who would simply have his agents approach for a talk. Besides, that wasn't Bi-Frost they were using. It's still broken." Then his eyes flicker up to Andrew, and he takes a sharp breath of air. Then he smiles, just a little. "I know /of/ him, but I've never had the pleasure of actually making his acquaintance," he tells the other man.

The people have left, and things have calmed down when the book is no longer on fire. It's an old leatherbound tome, the leather a bit crispy from the fire. The pages for the most part survived, so that's always a good thing, right?

Vette peers at the book and heaaaaves a sigh of relief. "Can I look at it?" she asks Rufus. "Maybe we can figure out what they wanted it for, why it was so important." Her priorities are Book, Book, and Book right now. She could care less about rainbows.

Tybalt isn't particularly handy right now, so he moves to take care of Drew. "My Mom and His Dad know him. Sort of….related." he offers as gently as he can lay it down. "Why? You one of his?" he asks curiously, stepping up to extend a hand. "Tybalt Odeman."

Lin sighs out and brushes his hands upon his pants before looking towards what had been the lecture. He shakes his head for all the fuss before looking to Tybalt and Rufus. "So you're saying they can't get a good Engineer in Asgard, huh?" He comments before looking curiously to the kid. He looks towards the blonde girl as she approaches before to Dee and Vette. "Is it okay?"

Dee sighs a bit, relieved at seeing that most of the book survived. "Man. I thought you were going to have a coronary right there, Vette." she replies as the book is offered to her Bandmate. "Here. You need it more than I do right now." She's a little worried that if she doesn't give Vette the leather-bound book Right Now, she might actually have a conniption. Can't have that.

Drew offers Tybalt and Rufus a winning smile and he reaches out to take Tybalt's hand giving it a firm hand shake, "Drew Drake, and if the angry warrior woman is to believed, he's my dear old Dad." He casts an eye over to Vette, "She going to be alright?"

Josh is sorta looking in from the outside of the group. He goes to say something, but he has no idea what the hell to say, "Couldn't we just find whatever that thing says on Wikipedia or something?"

When Vette looks at the book, it's just blank pages. Absolutely nothing. The whole book looks to be… blank. THat's what they saved? An empty journal looking thing?

Getting up to his feet, Rufus brushes off his jacket and examines the damage done to it. "Well, how badly off is it, Vette?" he quietly asks. "And why would a group of our kind want to get their hands on it?" When Tybalt steps back from Andrew, he steps forward to offer the other man his own hand, his smile broadening. "Rufus Scrivner," he says in quiet introduction. "Son of Tyr." Then he looks over his shoulder, unconcerned, as he studies Vette. "She'll be fine. I think."

Tybalt is something of an academic. Hell, he spent the majority of his life at Harvard knee deep in old books on legends and myths. So, he takes a step away from Drew and offers, "I would hope so." with that, he moves to stand next to Vette. "Can I take a peek at it?"

Vette stares. "It'sit'sit's BLANK!" she sputters, flipping pages quickly. "Maybe it's like that book in Harry Potter, the one he had to write on and turned out to be Voldemort. It's a bloody blank book! What did she do to it? It's blank! How can it be blank? Maybe it's all written in invisible ink. Somebody get me a lemon, quick!"

Dee actually takes a step back from Vette, as though it's possible she might actually explode. She does NOT want to have to wash Vette-bits off herself. "It's okay, Vette. It might just be magic, or something. Divine. It might need…" She reaches for the first thing that comes to mind "lemon juice and heat."

As Tybalt looks at it, words appear. They're cryptic words. Very small bits of information here and there. It describes him! It's describing the adventures of Tybalt. On a mission from his mother, he heads down to Helheim. For what, it isn't specific. All it describes is his bloody dismemberment from the jaws of Garm, one of the hounds of Hel. The hound of Hel rather.

Lin looks to Drew as he speaks to Tybalt and Rufus before catching Josh speaking up. He laughs out to him. "That is what I said!" He says with a smirk. He looks to Dee and Vette as the look to the book. He laughs out at Dee, shaking his head. "And don't forget the old 3D glasses made by Benjamin Franklin."

Tybalt goes instantly pale and shuts the book and his eyes, turning away from it and holding it out as far as he can from himself. "Fuck…." Is all he has to say to that.

Hikaru brings her hand up to her cheek, standing aside. Said opens until she has the palm against cheek. Then palm goes over face. Facepalm. "Ano ne," she intones. "Chanto ii kagen ni shinasai! Be more serious! I… I don't think it's that kind of book. The book was probably not written in secret invisible ink by kindergarteners. From the fact that the book resisted that sort of conflagration and only lost a few pages, I would say it's made of considerably stronger material. Ne? You did listen to the Professor's lecture, didn't you?"

Josh eyes Tybalt and the book, and then looks at Hikaru, "Hey, I was listening. I have no idea what she was talking about, but I was listening." He grumbles a little bit, "Wish those punks had stuck around so I could have beat some respect into them." He does, however, decide to take the book from Tybalt, since he's holding it out, "It's just a book. Relax, dude."

Dee's attention goes from Vette to Tybalt, and she frowns. "What? What was it?" she asks him, then looks over at Hikaru and seems thoughtful. "You know me." she notes. "But I don't recognize you?" She has a pretty good memory, usually. Fortunately, Scent the Divine will tell her something about the others here.

Drew watches, "I don't think it something lemons and Nick Cage can help us with." He says and then says to Ty and Rufus, "Nice to meet you both." He frowns at Tybalt's reaction, "I think you got to look at it just right."

Vette blinks. Well it obviously said something for Tybalt. She scratches the back of her head, then quiets down. "Well, you're right," she tells Hikaru. "But it…was…blank?" She peers at Tybalt again.

Slowly and warily, Rufus turns his eyes away from Andrew and back down to the book. Now he wanders over to examine its pages for himself, gently tipping it while it rests in Vette's hands so he can get a better look at them.

Tybalt nods his head and holds out the book for Vette. "It's an oracle. You are only supposed to see what you are supposed to see." He offers darkly as he scratches the back of his head in a nervous manner. "Just take it." he offers, pushing it at Vette. "Now please….Ruf, dont!"

"Aho na!" Hikaru sighs, shaking her head. Her blonde hair swishes from side to side with the sudden movement. "Do you think that the Professor was lecturing just to hear herself talk?" she says. "Do you think it mere coincidence that all of us are gathered here at the same time? That she was describing the journey of the hero in a library at night when she should have been giving a lecture during the day at a university?" she hypothetically considers. She leans toward Dee, giving her a crescent moon Cheshire Cat smile. "Is it chance that all of us arrived at the same place at the same time?"

As Rufus starts to open the pages, the words become clear. It's quite a vivid tale. As a mortal due to his punishment, he dies horribly when a Nemean Bull rages through the streets of New Atlantis. That isn't the end of the story, as he was still heroic even in death, and he is brought to Valhalla, with a certain known valkyrie being his guide. It's Mistr, and while she isn't fond of him initially, she is the one assigned to oversee him.

In his mind's eye, he already sees that he does get accepted by welcoming arms in the Aesir. He does something truly wonderful to get in with his family. As one of the Einherjar under Haldor, he helps bind the Titan Avatar Surtr, or at least he helps take care of the minions. It's because of this that he's elevated to godhood once more as the As of the Status Quo. He and Mistr have one child together. One who will champion Aesir ideals and will become beloved amongst the people.

He also has a child with Vette before he dies. The child, for reasons that remain rather vague, grows to distrust the Aesir and the Dodekatheon. He is what brings down both Pantheons and is eventually killed by the other son of Scrivner. And thus endth the tale in this volume.

Dee nods to Hikaru. "Oh, she was obviously trying to tell us something. We have to go through it all piece by piece, to learn what we can." She eyes the girl, still trying to place her but not looking worried, then she smiles. "There's no coincidence. Only Fate." Something she assumes most of them already know. She watches Rufus, waiting.

The large man is watching all of this unfold from the sidelines, Josh peering at each one in the group, "Look, some of us don't exactly read into all sorts of weird stuff that some chick who's not even all that hot is saying, okay?" He says, "Besides, that book probably sucks. Doesn't even have pictures in it."

"Perhaps, maybe the book is meant to work with the Aesir. They're may be books for each of the pantheons?" The son of Baldor reaches out for the book, "Let me see if it works out for me." He says as he carefully reaches for the book he pauses for a moment and then continues to take hold of the book to see if will tell him his own fate.

Lin looks towards the Japanese girl, lifting up his eyebrow. "Sorry. Sometimes you can't help to give a levity. He helps with stressful situations?" He lifts up his eyebrows as they examine the book. He folds his arms across his chest and frowns.

Ironically enough. For Andrew, the book just says: Hazy. Ask again later.

Rufus staggers back from what he reads, from the visions that come to him. The horror on his face cannot be described. He rather wishes he'd listened to Tybalt, but he was already reading at that warning. "No," he croaks. "No, no, no. That can't be… That cannot be. It must not." He turns his head quickly to stare at Vette, whispering, "I would /never/ …"

That…does not bode well. Vette slowly turns the book, as if she could try to see what Rufus saw. It's like a trainwreck that she can't look away from. But the blood has drained out of her face. He'd never /what/?

Tybalt turns and quickly attempts to pull the book away from Andrew. "Not yet man. If you are Aesir, probably a -bad- idea to know your own fate. We get caught in it really easy." He offers as he holds the book out for Vette (if he should get it from Drew). "So….We have ourself an oracle….meaning what? We need to talk to that professor. Unless anyone else has an idea what those others were up to?"

Andrew releases the book and chuckles, "Great, that just flipping great. For me, It just an over grown magic 8 ball." He turns to look at Rufus and Ty. He gives the men both a smile, "Fate's not set for me." He's got a weird look on his face and looks to Tybalt, "I'm… wait… I'm Baldur's son. I'm spose to meet a grim end." His voice falling small and he lets the book go to Vette. Is he who he thinks he is or has he been lied too?

Dee frowns deeply, when Rufus reacts to whatever is in the book. "Okay. Whatever's in there? Pull it together, all." Easy for her to say, of course. It hasn't traumatized her yet. She looks at Tybalt, when he speaks of their fates. "Ugh. Worrying about the future does no one any good." she says then, before replying to him with "It's possible the professor was Hera, Tybalt. Look at the spelling of her name, on the lecture title. I don't think we're going to get a meeting. We have to just learn from what she was able to say before things happened."

Lin lifts up his eyebrows at the reactions to the book. "An Oracle? So, you mean you now know your futures?" He walks over to his teammates. "It will be okay. The thing about us? We have ways of changing our fate?"

Josh scratches the back of his head, "Hera? Like, the same one who was married to Zeus?" Josh asks, as he tries to remember stuff he learned in high school, "I still don't see what this all has to do with that city in a Final Fantasy game."

"Well…." Offers Tybalt as he stretches and takes a step back to sit down in a chair. "Kiddo…" He offers to Josh. "We got some stuff to talk about later….but…" He turns his attention on the others. "If she was dropping hints about the fool archtype in literature, it should be noted that the Fool shirks fate, or at least pays no attention to it. He closes his eyes and blindly steps where the current takes him. Maybe this is what we must do?"

Hikaru shrugs expansively. "Linlin-chan is right. You shouldn't read spoilers. Do you really want to know things about your own life before they happen? Knowing them makes them true. It is… ano ne. What is the term? A self-fulfilling prophecy? Once you know it, you're going to make it true. Unless you make it false. I suppose the real question that should be on our minds now is… where are the rest of the books that we're supposed to find?" — books? What books? Who said anything about any other books?

Josh ohs! "Oh, you mean, this is totally like in Back to the Future part three, when Marty was trying to keep Doc from getting killed, but all he managed to do was make things worse, until the very end where he fixed everything and saved the day and got the girl. So that book is, what, like a time machine?"

Lin just laughs at Tybalt's comment, mostly at himself. "I guessed right. I was the fool she was speaking of." He says, shaking his head. He lifts up his eyebrows and looks to the Japanese girl. "You know me?" He asks curiously. He tries to remember, scrunching up his face trying to remember.

He can't answer her. Rufus stares helplessly at Vette and just shakes his head again and again. His mouth opens, then closes, and all that comes from his throat is an awkward croak. "I'll tell you later," he finally manages to whisper. He swallows, then he rubs his hand down his face. Something said catches his attention, and he focuses on the blonde Japanese girl he doesn't recognise. "There are more of these sorts of books?"

Andrew has disconnected.

Tybalt sighs a little bit. "Look, I need some air…" he reaches into his pocket and pulls out a few cards, passing them out to those who don't have his number.

Tybalt has disconnected.

Dee stares at Josh for a long moment. She seems to be considering her words carefully. Finally, with an equally careful tone, she says to him "Stay pretty." Though, then she says "I'm Dee. Daughter of Hermes." To everyone, "I suggest we take some time to pull ourselves together, then meet again to talk about what needs to happen next."

"Whoa, hold up. What's this we crap?" Josh says, "I ain't got no stake in this. This is you all's crazy book. I was just here trying to watch the trailer for my new movie 'cause the hotel's internet is down. I knew I shoulda gone to a damn internet cafe."

Vette stares as Tybalt walks out so pale and Rufus looks so hoarse. "Why isn't fate ever good?" she asks quietly. "Why isn't anyone's future ever happy? Every prophecy I ever hear is evil and ugly. Isn't there any good in the world? Isn't there enough good in the world to make something good happen?" She sounds wistful, and sad.

Hikaru looks a bit concerned as Tybalt departs, reaching out to him, but he departs. She bites her knuckles. That's worry in her face. She lets her arm drop by her side. "Oh! That was rude of me. I forgot to reintroduce myself," she says, a hint of a smile returning to her lips. "I'm Arisu Hikaru. Daughter of Inari. It's nice to meet you again. All of that other stuff… it feels like a lifetime ago. I guess it was, actually!" — she pauses, considering, crossing her arms under her chest. Two fingers go to her temple. Eyes narrow! Deep in thought in the style of Sherlock Holmes. Or Miles Edgeworth. "Something is weighing heavily upon my mind. This sequence of events."

Lin blinks and looks at Hikaru in surprise. "Wait, you were…" He lifts up his eyebrows. "Well, for a girl, you don't look half bad." He turns to the other ladies in the room, holding up his hands. "No offense to anyone." He lets out a sigh. "Yeah. Maybe we should just head out. We need to get the brains of the outfit back together before we can puzzle this out." He looks over to Josh and nods. "Well, I wish you luck with your movie, Sir." He offers.

Rufus can only look sympathetic. If Tybalt's fate was as bad as his own… His eyes again flicker to Vette, and he swallows hard, unable to fully hide the anguish. He reaches out to touch her arm, laying his fingers on her wrist, and he steps in close. Hikaru is a name he knows, and looking past Josh, he stares at the blonde woman. "…. Hikaru?" He blinks a few times. Well, normally, he'd want to know what the heck happened, but right now, he's more than a little preoccupied. "What's bothering you?"

Dee studies Josh some more, then. "So… you're not the child of a god?" Scent the Divine kind of told her the answer, but it would be rude to say it herself. She sighs as Vette goes off, then says "We're here, right now, to protect humanity from the things going bump in the night. We do what is necessary, so mortals can live their lives. We can be happy sometimes, I'm sure. But it isn't what's important, in the end. Not in the larger scheme. If we get tangled up with what might happen because it's in some book though, we're going to get sloppy and get ourselves killed. Before we should, I mean." Hikaru does get a smile, though. "Hello again, fox. It's been too long."

"Is there a reason why we can't have both?" Vette asks Dee, wrapping an arm around Rufus' waist. "Is there a reason it all has to be a big huge tragedy? You'd think, given all this raging heroism, we'd deserve to be happy too. You know. Hero slays dragon, hero gets girl or guy, hero runs off to drink wine or mead and wear the nice thing on his head that says he's a hero."

Josh looks back at Dee, "Uh." He shrugs a little bit, "I suppose." He says, "But that's besides the point." He says, "I mean, this whole thing is way outside of my paygrade." He says, "I'm a wrestler, and an actor. I'm a hero to the thousands who come see me live, and the millions who tune in every Monday and Friday, or those who shell out the ticket price to see my movies." He says, "And that's good enough for me. I make people's lives better in my own way. They admire me. Hell, I'd dare say that some of them even worship me."

"A lifetime, you might say," Hikaru says, grinning widely at Dee. "I used to call you 'Plunder Bunny', didn't I? That much I remember. Ugh! Things rolling around in my head! Thoughts won't sit still long enough to be considered! The obvious drawing of attention to the name Hera. The significance of six. Other books. Her discussion of the meaning of heroism. The fool. My brain is full of fire!" she says, clutching her temples. "Heroism doesn't mean you get to live happily ever after with your true love. In fact, it usually means you go out in a blaze of glory. The path of the hero leaves broken corpses and tears in its wake. But also… the world sits up and takes notice. For a true hero, there is no death in legend, and the world… changes. Evolves as a result," — she continues to clutch her head as if she has a headache. "Mouuuu akan! What is the connection?! I'm missing a piece! There is a place to go next! The roles. She looked at us! The jaded! The hesitant! The dawdlers! The postponers, the fakers, the foolish, and the wise. Seven! Not six! Rrrrgh!" — she lets out a very primal growl. "Dark Hour. What am I missing?"

"Hera," Vette points out, "Makes 7."

"Vette," Rufus hoarsely croaks. "Please… Stop. /Please./ Just stop." Emotion has choked him up, leaving him forced to swallow around a painful knot in his throat. He rests a hand on her shoulder, staring off into space, and he closes his eyes. Just a few seconds to compose himself, and he clears his throat roughly. As he's not getting the pieces of this puzzle put together, he keeps his mouth mostly shut, but his eyes narrow as he tries to distract himself with Hikaru's words. "Well, before Tybalt left, there were seven of us," he says. "Granted, Andrew made eight. How many of the heroic Scions have gone through the Dark Hour? Vette, how many statues did you say you saw?"

Lin looks around the room before letting out a sigh. "Well, since everyone went running because of the fire. I better go talk to them to get them off our scent. You guys know how to get a hold of me if you need me." He says, nodding his head to them before walking out.

Dee can only shrug to Vette. "Doesn't tend to work out that way in the myths. She looks at John again, then takes a business card from her satchel. Offering it, she says to him "Give a call, when you're ready to start earning that worship. You can still do the 'make money' stuff, too. The pay sucks for this side of things sucks, but… Well. The pay sucks. For most of you." She, uh, does pretty well for herself. To the rest, including Hikaru, she says "Let's get somewhere less conspicuous, and have some tea." She starts trying to herd them out after nodding to Lin.

Hikaru is now pacing back and forth, clutching at her skull in anguish. "No, no, no, no, no. Get out of my head, thoughts. The Search for the Highest Treasure," she considers. "What is the highest treasure to a god? To the children of a god? Memory? Remembrance? What was she trying to tell us to look for? Rrgh!" — she finally releases her head, primly taking a deep breath. She smiles to her friends, and even to the new friends whom she's only just met. "I must pray upon this. You should do the same. I have a tiny shrine in Central Park if you wish to seek me out. Though I suspect that fate will bring us together soon. If you have contacts, you might want to consider asking them about all of these clues."

"Twenty two in all. Quite a few more than 7," Vette says. For a moment she blinkus at Rufus, trying to figure out what it is she should stop, but she slowly puts that together. His anguish is really worrying her. "Maybe you and I should just go home. Meet up with everyone later."

Lin has disconnected.

Josh takes the card, and peers at it for a few moments, before he stuffs it in his pocket, "Yeah. Sure." He says, not really having much intention of calling her. He really doesn't think he wants anything to do with all these crazies. Every time he's around them bad stuff happens.

"Ah. Well, there goes that thought," Rufus whispers. Clearing his throat again, he nods to Vette's suggestion, and he musters a wan smile for Hikaru. "We will see each other again. Please be careful." He's about to say something to Josh as well, but… the best he can manage after a moment is another wan smile. "Good night," he says. And with that, he offers his elbow to Vette, glancing down at her hands to make sure she still has that book.

Hikaru shakes her head rapidly once again. "No, hold on," she says, clutching her temples again. "Twenty-two doesn't divide by seven. Evenly, anyway. There's one left over. Twenty one and one seventh. Rrgh. I'll pray on it. I'll see you all later," she sighs softly. "It was very nice to see you again," she says, remembering her formality and bowing at the waist. "Rufus. Vette-chan. You be careful as well."

Vette does. She takes his elbow, and walks after Rufus. Maybe Dee and Hikaru are really happy about going down in a blaze of glory, but it's nothing she can ever really accept. Working hard, sacrificing, and striving should come with rewards. You work, you get paid. That's sort of how it was always taught to her. "Nice to see you again too, Hikaru," she says softly.

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