Gene, Haldor, Jason, Maia, Preston, Scott
|Scene Title||Aphrodite's Betrayal|
|Synopsis||The secret isout! What really happened at Olypus!|
Yay! Everything turned out to be okay. Maia grins wryly as she shakes her head when Haldor arrives back at the part of the mountain they were at before and she soon follows after Drake leaps out of her arms. It's only when she looks over towards Preston do her eyes widen as she sees that he's injurfed. She hates seeing blood and gore, especially if it's on someone she cares about and she hops out of the Viking's grasp, her hands already starting to glow ready to heal him should he ask for it.
"You okay?" she asks curiously, her brows raised while motioning for Haldor to head on over as well.
Haldor's ascent to the ledge Preston stands upon, laden with passengers and carcass, earns the Thorson an awestruck look that gives way readily to a grin. He's idly scritching Godric's ears when they arrive, and the Lundie barks happily upon seeing that his young playmate is alive and well after the unintended flight. Preston reaches up to ruffle Drake's ears as the full-sized shiba greets him affectionately, merely closing one eye as he succumbs to the slobbery puppy love. He hunkers down to pet the pup once he returns to 'travel size', grinning broadly. The trend persists as he looks up at Maia and Haldor, beaming. "Looks like everybody's okay," he observes happily. "I think I'll be okay," Preston assures Maia, "but I won't say no to a bit of help closing this up." He glances to his shoulder, but is quickly distracted by Drake's clever and effective ploy of being too cute to not claim his attention.
Haldor slings the harpy over his shoulder and smiles at Preston. Like with the smile of so many Thorsons, it is a bright and winning smile, despite Haldor being fairly reserved with regard to expressions. Maybe it's a metalhead thing. Either way, Haldor stands by and watches quietly.
"Let me take care of it.." she says firmly and resolutely, placing her hands on his shoulders as she closes his wounds, sending a warm, healing glow throughout his body. After a fewmoments, he should be okay and she smiles brightly before looking back towards Haldor. "Okay.. now for proper introductions I guess.. since ya know.. Haldor's favorite uncle is your dad.." Maia chirps cheerily.
Preston draws in a breath as he feels the healing warmth gather upon his skin and breathes it out as it mends not only the flesh of his shoulders but a dozen other little discomforts that may have harshed his mellow later, leaving him with a peaceful smile. He thanks her with a murmur and a quick nod, beaming up at her from over his shoulder. Then he gives Drake's fuzzy head a quick scritching before he stands to approach Haldor with a hand extended. "It's nice to finally meet you. Especially under the circumstances."
Phew. Maia beams brightly towards the two as she picks up the cute little pup and places him on top of her head cause she thinks it's a cute look. She points up towards the mountain. It's only perhaps fifty meters or so and that's an easy jump for the both of them. At least it should be. "So we're not too far,let's go find the others, yeah?"
Drake barks as he's placed atop Maia's head, but he doesn't use her skull as a launching pad to leap over to Haldor. At least not this moment. Instead he curls up and tucks his head against his chest as he starts to nod off again like a proper puppy.
"Good to meet you too, Preston," replies Haldor with a startlingly cheery voice, "So how long have you been doing the whole Scion thing?"
"Baldur came to visit me a little over two weeks ago," Preston answers with a self-effacing grin and a slight shrug. "Everything's been kind of a blur since then." He chuckles, adding, "It makes a few things make a lot more sense. I'm still trying to get everything into perspective, but I'm going to do my best to help. I…kind of insisted on tagging along. I hope that's okay."
Yay! Drake's curling to sleep once more, and Maia reaches up to scritch a little on the sleeping puppy. She takes a deep breath and wrinkles her nose and just quietly points up once more.
"Yes, Maia, I know we need to get under way. Could we chill for like ten minutes? Preston here just took down a giant ass harpy," which Haldor shakes and waggles over his shoulder for emphasis, "Basically by himself. Let him catch his breath. I'm more than fast enough to make up for any time delay."
Haldor glances back to Preston and makes a 'Tch. Women.' expression before cocking his head to one side. Insisted on tagging along? One red eyebrow arches very faintly as Haldor regards the Baldur Scion, Johanssen making a fuss about having a giant harpy resting against him on Haldor's back most of the while.
"Well… You're going to be in for one hell of a ride, but I guess you ought to be alright. You certainly held up against the harpy… Why'd you insist on tagging along though?"
Preston does his best to stifle a snicker as Haldor teases Maia, keeping his smile diplomatically inscrutable save for a faint upward tug at one corner. "I've never even seen a regular sized harpy," he declares enthusiastically. He doesn't seem terribly winded now that his shoulder bears no sign of wounding save for the blood that stains his shirt and sticks it to him. He doesn't seem bothered by that too much either. "I've known that Scions existed for a while, but I never thought I was one. When I found out that the gods were missing and their powers were being stolen, I came to the conclusion that I wouldn't really rest easily until I'd done what I could to help sort that out-whatever it may be. I'm told I'm inordinately fond of my 'mellow'. This way, I'm too busy to get it harshed, and maybe I can make myself useful."
Her cheeks burn a bright tinge of red from embarassment as she eyes Haldor. Uh oh, someone might not be getting any for a week.. or something like that, especially after the look she got. Maia lets out a little harumph before she pats Preston on the shoulder.
"Oh, he doesnt need much recovery time! He's got stamina!" she chirps merrily while she idly runs her fingers through her hair. "Besides, we havent heard anything from Jolie, Scott, Gene or Jason.. I'm really worried for them.."
"Interesting. Wish I'd have known about Scions before Pop came calling," remarks Haldor, rubbing his somewhat scruffy chin with his free hand. The Viking blinks a few times, peering at Maia and Drake for a few moments. Eventually he just shrugs it, whatever 'it' is, off and glances up the mountain.
"Yeah. We should get going then. See if we can't catch up with them."
Quietly the Viking adjusts the harpy over his shoulder and considers the others. There is a pretty good chance his 'considering the others' phase makes people feel like they're being sized up for weight like a side of beef by a butcher. It's a faint feeling, but… Well. No one likes feeling like that.
Preston clears his throat mildly as Maia comments on his stamina, pointedly not looking to either of the two as the interplay between them begins to take place on a nonverbal level. He splays his fingers, a signal to Godric to some get his head scratched, and falls into step with the others. "I hope they're alright," he ventures, favoring optimism in the face of adversity. Being sized up doesn't so much trouble him. Even if he weren't feeling exhilarated from the recent combat and delighted to meet a new cousin, Haldor's scrutiny is more comfortable than the surgically ruthless appraisals he's received in his line of work. At least he can be certain this appraisal has nothing to do with the fickle subjectivity of aesthetics, but rather his capacity to dish out and take a beating. There's nothing really subjective or fickle about that.
She didnt mean it like that! Maia raises her brows at Preston before she starts to climb on top of Haldor's back, hoping she can catch a piggyback ride up to the top. "So shall we then? And we might need to hide Drake.. the stymphalian birds might've traumatized him.." she whispers softly, feeling bad for the sleeping puppy.
"Stymphallic birds? I can't imagine why those would've traumatized Drake," remarks Haldor as his attention is diverted from analyzing Maia and Preston alike. The Viking wasn't actually considering combat capacity, he was actually trying to decide how best to carry everyone so he could make up for whatever lost time there might be.
Maia did mention that Haldor is obscenely fast, didn't she? She certainly mentioned he can fly. The obscenely fast thing might be important to note in flying up the side of Mount Olympus to avoid certain doom.
"This is going to get a little tricky… You think your dog can hang onto this damn thing, Preston?"
"They traumatized me a little," Preston admits with a weak grin. Questioned, he looks to Godric, and the two seem to confer with a glance before they both turn their attention decisively toward Haldor. "It won't be a problem," he assures. Enthusiasm builds quickly in him, and his eyes are bright with it as it becomes apparent to him they won't be walking, jumping, or riding Drakeback this time. "What are we going to do next?"
"Getting up to Zeus' Palace. From what I've read,and from what little I was able to see, it's a giant Parthenon like building up there, and I know frommy mom that everything is based in Zeus' palace..so we get up there and find the others and find Aphrodite and Eris and kick some corrupted Scion butt!"
Maia seems quite enthusiasitc about the whole thing as she ruffles Haldor's hair a little as she leans and whispers softly, "Stymphalian.. not phallic.. that's something else all together.." she whispers, giggling once more as she looks towards Preston. "Maybe you can carry me and Godric and Preston can climb piggyback?"
"I was actually thinking that since you are already piggybacking me, I would hold Preston while Preston holds his dog while his dog holds the harpy." Haldor pauses a moment and turns to look at Preston and Godric. "What is your dog's name, by the way?"
The Viking waits a moment or two to get properly introduced before turning his head to look at Maia again, even if it is just over his shoulder. "And then I fly us up there. Faster, easier, and less prone to being split up by murderous and/or phallic birds."
"Haldor," Preston announces, gesturing to his canine companion, "this is Godric. Godric, Haldor." The Lundie barks happily and gives the Thorson a quick 'whassup' nod before his comrade hauls him up off the ground. The dog's breed are typically small, but this one is fairly large. All the same, Preston has the typical Scion-ish 'stronger than he looks' thing going on, so while the arrangement they agree upon looks improbable, no one is likely to encounter any problems. "I am /really/ glad you found us," Preston enthuses. "I wasn't looking forward to trying to jump the rest of the way up the mountainside."
Awww. Isnt that cute! A Thorson carrying a Baldurson while having a daughter of Amaterasu on his back! Maia giggles and beams brightly as she nods in agreement and hops onto Haldor's back once more. She cuddles close before looking up before she grins at the two men.
"All right! Let's do this!" she chirps merrily, making sure Drake is still perfectly balanced on top of her head.
"Good to meet you too, Godric," remarks Haldor, patting the Lundie on the head. The Viking wraps his arms around Preston and simply hefts the Baldurson aloft. Haldor doesn't leave time for arguments on the matter as he takes about four steps forward, rapidly accelerating with a faint crackle of electricity in the air.
A moment later, Haldor is surging upward through the air. More importantly, he is apparently running through the air, leaving a trail of ice in his wake as he skates upward through the air. Being Haldor must entail murdering the SFX budget for the campaign.
Between Preston and Godric, the enormous harpy comes along with. It loses a few feathers that freeze to brittleness as they're caught in Haldor's wake. There isn't as much time to enjoy the scenery on this trip, but by this point there's really nothing new to see until they reach the top-except perhaps for things they don't want to see in the first place.
It's not that long of a trip up, but considering that Maia's only in her silk penguin pajamas, it's cold. She's not the one immune to the cold afterall! She shivers the entire way up, and only when Haldor lands at the base of the palace of Zeus does she let go to shiver and tremble on the ground for a bit. Her teeth chatters as she looks around, taking in the rather parthenon like building as she hrmms for a few moments, entranced by the Greco-Roman decor surrounding them.
Considering the relative positions, Preston and Godric should probably be the ones suffering from being much too close to Haldor's manifesting Frost powers. Although, perhaps, the wind chill is what's getting to the pajama-wearing demigoddess. Haldor can see that; though he still sighs a little bit and shakes his head.
"I'll take the harpy back. Maybe someone up here can make some loot for you guys from the corpse… I shoulda brought the rabbits. Huh. Oh well."
At this stage, Preston has denied himself the right to complain. After all, he did insist on coming along. Once he's got his feet under him, Preston bounces in place and rubs his arms quickly, but is quickly overtaken by wonder at the notion of standing at the summit of Olympus and starts gawking like a tourist. Godric keeps a steadier head, dragging the carcass over to Haldor as he offers to handle the trophy-making.
"This is amazing!" Preston enthuses, eyes wide as he takes in the scenery. "We're actually /here/. I wasn't entirely convinced this place existed until last month."
Designed by Hephaestus and built by the one-eyed giants, the cyclopes, the enormous Palace of Zeus in Olympus serves as the center of divine activity in the realm. Its Doric columns and marble walls feature classic Greek architectural styling, or rather, were the inspiration for the Doric, Ionic and Corinthian styles that would come to be known as classically Greek.
From the outside, the Palace is a great rectangular temple of gleaming white marble, set at the highest point of the highest peak of Mount Olympus. Its primary columns, which line the face of the external colonnade 12 to a side, are as tall and broad as sequoias. Just beyond them, where the palace proper begins, a massive marble portico extends toward the interior of the building. Still open to the air, this area features a deep pool. Its walls are mosaic with cobalt and silver tiles that form interlocked waves and cloud patterns, and the water is so clear as to appear almost non-existent. At the center of the pool stands a lifesized statuary scene commemorating the victory of the Dodekatheon (led by Zeus, of course) over the Titans (who are, as suits Zeus’ ego, appear much weaker and less impressive than they are in reality).
Maia looks aruond as she hrmms for a few moments before there's the sound of giggling. It's a familiar giggling to both demigod and demigoddess as it belongs to none other than the white bitch and it's coming from the north! Maia freezes as she seems to recognize it and facepalms. "Oh.. shit.."
"Yeah. It's pretty spiff… And a lot less creepy than the Atlantean or Loa-ian Underworlds," replies Haldor as he shoulders the harpy again. The Viking ruffles Godric's fur with one hand before glancing around, letting his senses expand outward to really perceive the area.
And that would be when the giggling starts. Haldor sighs heavily and rubs the bridge of his nose a bit, considering the situation carefully. Godric and Preston, in spite of their impressive abilities earlier, are not likely to be serious threats to either demigod… But there's no telling what might happen if they have to face /HER/.
"This is very likely to become very insane, very quickly, Preston. Godric. I honestly don't know what's going to happen, much less what you're going to see. It could be very, very dangerous for both of you to come with us. More dangerous than anything else you've run into so far."
Godric seems to have accepted Haldor as family just as quickly as Preston has. He looks up and licks the viking's fingers before bounding over to Preston as he picks up on the raised metaphorical hackles of their human companions, so as to nudge his comrade into alertness. For his part, Preston was perfectly happy to nod over his shoulder to Hal and continue to look around. Fortunately he's snapped back to reality in time to hear Maia's expletive and receive Haldor's warning.
Now sobered, and casting a wary glance toward the source of the giggling, Preston assures, "I'm ready. I'll follow your lead-whatever happens. I knew this wouldn't be easy, but…" He casts another look toward the sound, the aforementioned 'white bitch' as a momentary skepticism passes across his face. What can be so bad?
"Helena..I thought Gene killed her.." Maia says firmly and resolutely before she oyes and rolls her eyes as she takes a deep and cleansing breath. She looks towards Preston and hrmms for a few moments. "She can control people's minds. She's not the most physically powerful, not does she have flashy tricks like being able to blind you or summon ghosts, but she can fuck with your head, literally. Jolie experienced her before she reached her current level of power and she made Jolie believe things that never even happened. She's scary, whatever you do, do not look into her eyes or even hear her voice.."
She hrmms for a few moments as she chews on her bottom lip while looking to Haldor. "We need to nullify sound somehow. Also, we can't look at her either.."
"Sound I can handle. Light? Not so much," remarks Haldor. The Viking sighs a little bit as he ponders his tricks of the Titan-slaughtering trade. Quietly Haldor considers the situation carefully, nodding a bit. He can definitely handle the sound of Helena's voice… It's just going to be looking at her that will be the problem. It's not like he can project waves of Darkness - Rupert might be able to though. The Atlanteans certainly could.
Down one hall a figure familiar to Maia and Haldor at least can be seen walking. Jason walking down one of the side corridors away from that distant sound of ominous giggling, leather jacket an unusual contrast to the halls of Olympus if not quite so much as Maia's pajamas are, he is chatting to a clockwork mechanical owl perched upon his shoulder, "Workers? Come on, you have to know them. The one she uses to move her quarters? If anyone else is going to have a key to get in there it has got to be them."
Preston finds himself backing up, standing closer to Hal and Maia, as the gravity of the situation sinks in with every word they use to describe Helena. Just from what he's been able to piece together he suspects he's outgunned, outclassed, and out-everythinged. While that doesn't bother him, one thing does. "Tell me what I need to do," he murmurs, "to keep-" He doesn't finish that request, distracted by an idea. "We could get the dogs to start barking?" he offers.
"Mirrors could help. Mirrors could bend light and make her not be able to be seen.." Maia says matter of factly as she wracks her brain for a few moments and she remembers a few stories about 'mirrors' from her childhood. "Water.. water have a pretty decent index of refraction!" she chirps merrily as she closes her eyes and a ball of water starts to form in her hand, swirling the entire time while she takes a deep breath. It's only then does she recognize another voice.
"Jason!" she calls out, motioning for him to head on over.
Haldor watches Jason's approach with cautious optimism. It could be a ruse or a trap (IT'S A TRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAP!) or Helena in disguise… But it doesn't seem to be. The Viking smiles thinly and nods to the approaching Dodekatheon Scion, considering the mechanical owl on his shoulder for a few moments.
"Should I be trying to come up with jokes about mechanical love?"
Jason peers at Haldor for a moment as he pauses in his movements to head on over, looking between them curiously and especially giving Preston a twice over as an unknown quantity before he says, "I've no idea what any of you are doing here. But it's good to see you. Quick summary. Scott and Gene thought they heard Helena and went chasing after her, I don't know if that is a trap or distraction or if she is really there. My mother though keeps a subrealm all to herself, always moves around the entrance. Currently it's off the grid, but I managed to pinpoint it's last known location and checked it out. It's there, it's locked up tight and if they are up to bad stuff here it's the perfect place for them to have my mother, and possibly Gene's, locked up to do it. Right now I'm looking for the workers that help my mother move the realm and her stuff regularly. My sister might have put the mental mojo on them, or killed them outright, but even if so the key they have should still be around. Can you help me look?"
Preston is left staring by the new arrival's wealth of info, clearly lost somewhere in the middle. Even his dog looks lost. Godric tilts his head to one side, drops one ear, and voices the pair's shared confusion in a soft whine. What does come across is that this is a friend, and that everything's he's said so far is important. That doesn't solve the problem of the as-yet unseen Phantom Giggler, but he's going with the flow. He responds to Jason's scrutiny with a weak grin and a little wave, and then gives the others a look that communicates fairly well to all present that he's deferring to Haldor and Maia.
"The one giggling, that's Jason's half sister, a daughter of Aphrodite, the one who can mindfuck you and then some.." Maia says matter of factly, trying to help him catch up, though there's a clear look of worry when she finds out Scott and Gene went after her. She facepalms and groans a little, wrinkling her nose as she hrmms and chews on her lower lip and takes a deep breath.
"I'm betting Helena has your mother. If there's someone she'd want to drain perhaps it's hers, unless she already has enough of nher power..I..I dunno. What do you suggest we do? I think I should look for Scott and Gene.."
"We should find the key. Maybe we can snag an advantage if we find Aphrodite's Realm," replies Haldor. The Viking grimaces at the news of Gene and Scott, one hand briefly rubbing the back of his head as he starts swivelling his head. Haldor seems to be scanning everything with a critical gaze, if his gaze falls on you… It might feel as though he's looking /THROUGH/ you.
Jason gives a nod to Maia and responds, "I agree. If she is likely wanting to go after anyone it will be mother. I think she's gone to some trouble to seal off and hide that realm, and if she has there is a reason for it. Doing what she is trying to do here in Zeus's palace has got to be difficult without being noticed, that subrealm is the perfect place for it. I don't know if Helena is just laying a trap by making people seem to hear her, or if she actually did leave to stretch her legs, but I think getting into that realm is critical."
<OOC> Maia says, "OKie dokie"
The incredulous look on Preston's face begins to take on shades of agitation, but then as the others proceed to talk and the source of the giggling fails to manifest at all, much less threaten anyone, he catches on quietly. "So, that means the laughter was just a projection or something? Does it mean she knows we're here?"
"I have no idea how god realms work. It's quite possible that she knows we're here. I have no idea what her capabilities are now, I just know what they were before.." Maia responds as she continues to look worried as she takes a deep breath and hrmms for a few moments, chewing on her bottom lip nervously. She continues to look around as she reaches for Haldor's hand and tries to squeeze it.
"Do you see anything?"
And at the question,there's a lot the Viking can see. The voice is most definitely a projection. While it sounds like it comes from the area where Scott and Gene went, that is not the true source. In fact, it's not even Helena's voice. It just sounds like Helena's voice. Eris and Aphrodite.. it's chaos. And if anything, the goddess of strife and discord wants to make things more difficult and perhaps that's why finding the key is all the more difficult. Is she in cahoots with the Titans now? Who knows?
Still, there's hints of the presence of the other Corrupted Scions. The same wavelength of energy that was used in order to create the clones before is present. Kamui's touch as a dark onmyouji is most definitely here but instead of crafting clones to distract them, there's a most elaborate illusion in place. Aphrodite's realm is still connected, but it's their perceptions that have shifted..
"Odin Frigg 'n' Hel damn it all. What the Frigg kind of crazy ass BS is /THIS/?"
Haldor is practically roaring his fury at something that probably only he can see. The Viking squeezes Maia's hand lightly while the other hand clenches into a terrible fist as he catches sight of Kamui's energy signature in the illusion warping the area. Slowly Haldor disentangles himself from Maia's hand and steps forward, hands coming up as he tries to see and feel his way through the illusion.
You really don't want to know what his Plan B involves.
Jason possesses Rarefied Electromagnetic Perception himself, and accompanying massive quantities of Epic Perception simply peers at Haldor's flailing, "Rough day? It's an awful trip up that mountain.." He shifts his attention back to the surroundings narrowing his gaze, "Let me see if I can't get a sense for where mother is then. Maybe I should not worry so much about the door as with her. directly." He sniffs at the air, "It's hard to make illusions for every senses. Whatever is clouding things here might mostly be limited to sight and sound."
What is plan B? The ST wants to know what plan B is, and Maia just watches as she wrinkles her nose and blinks at Haldor seeming to pantomime his way through.. air or whatever it is. "Hun.. you all right?" she asks, worried that he may be caught in something else as well.
Still, learning from before, Kamui made things all the more difficult to decipher this time. There's patterns in the weave, something very subtle that can perhaps be caught to not just a perceptive eye, but to a brain that can notice these things..
Haldor grunts at Jason's inquiry, the Viking fixing his attention on reading the subtleties of the energy all around him. Slowly Haldor starts trying to read the braille energies, fingers twitching and shifting as he moves about, almost ignorant of Maia's question.
It's so familiar, but it's hard to tell just what's what. Again Haldor realizes he could definitely benefit from super smarts of some kind.
Gene is still wandering the maze all by himself and lonesome. Or perhaps Scott just got lost along the way. It's a pretty damned difficult maze afterall!
Still, Maia and Haldor look towards the pair of Jason and Preston. "Jason, make sure you watch over him.." And that's the petite daughter of the sun goddess giving orders. She worries afterall! "We're going to try to find out some stuff!" And off they go to explore the other realms! Perhaps splitting nup is a bad idea in this case, but there's a sudden shift on the GPS!
Ariadne's GPS starts to bleep towards the maze. Something has shifted. Something has happened. OMGWTFBBQ?
Hey, Gene's fairly certain he knows what he's doing; he's following her by that especially lovely scent that lingers about her, tracking her through the maze with gun in hand. Unfortunately, he's lost Scott somewhere along the way.
Jason raises a hand to massage at his eyes and he looks over towards Preston, "Uh. Right. I still don't really have the least clue who you are but we really don't have the time to make introductions." He taps his GPS repeatedly with one hand as it starts spitting out weird signals, "We really don't have the time, I'm picking up new readings. Ok. Well. I'm going, if you want to come along just.. please don't die. It sounds like that would make Maia upset." Words of encouragement given he darts off down the halls following the sudden shift indicated on his screen.
Preston grimaces as Maia leaves them with instructions, pressing two fingers to his brow, nearly in synch with Jason. He clears his throat and looks up with a sharp nod. "I'm here to help. If it comes down to it, I do know what I signed up for." As in, he is at peace with the prospect of having become expendable in light of the greater scope of their mission. He sprints in pursuit, proving at least adequately capable of following along. So far, so good. How much of that is luck for the over-his-head young Scion remains to be seen. "Name's Preston, by the way."
The maze continues to shift. It's rather chaotic inside afterall. In fact, the whole realm is suffering from unusual chaos as the way for Gene leads.. outside where he runs into Jason and Preston once more! Fortunately, there's another way back in, and that's on the GPS! It's blinking and bleeping. Is that where Helena and Aphrodite are? Or perhaps even Eris? who knows?
Who knows? Not Jason, although he continues to split his attention between looking down at the screen and scoping out the environment with his enhanced senses. "Jason" he says in introduction to Preston, "Child of Aphrodite, who I'm trying to find." Another whack to the GPS as it warbles at him and he says to Gene as he comes in view, "I'm getting a major spatial distortion of some sort. At least I think it is a spatial distortion." He turns towards where the signal continues to indicate, intent on tracking it down.
"My father is Baldur. I'm Haldor's cousin, apparently." Preston is taking his cues from Jason, and watches him closely. Fortunately, Godric is keeping watch for the pair, although neither of them is equipped to comprehend, much less perceive spatial anythings. He'll just follow along, ready to lend a hand. He's startled as their shifting path brings them into contact with Gene, but given the unruffled way Jason regards the other man, Preston greets him with a nod and keeps his mouth shut. As the son of Aphrodite said, there really isn't time for proper introductions yet.
Apparently, Gene's preternatural senses for tracking have entirely failed him; he pulls up short at the sight of everyone else there already, nose wrinkling in the slightest of grimaces. Ah well, he can't always be amazing, one supposes. "I think something's warping space in here… where's it pointing out?"
Alas, no. Gene's preternatural hunting has not failed him! Time and space have warped themselves to where he can feel Helena's scent. And there's at least three more scents with her.. and gasp! It includes his mother! Who are the others? There's the scent of perfume, a rather powerful perfume at that. Someone wants to smell good, or cover up body odor.
Still, space continues to shift, nothing having a form as the maze suddenly disappears and becomes a clear field! Then those with enhanced eyesight would see. It's the same ritual! There are the shadows of what seems to be four others surrounding a circular formation. There's something in the middle, a grotesque creature with it's mouth open! Then there's Aphrodite and eris! Helena and yet another figure! Then space warps again and the maze reappears. What the hell is going on?
Jason abandons whapping on the GPS because it obviously has brought them close to the source of the disruption, even if the sheer chaos of things does not make it clear what is going on. Jason instead focuses his attention on trying to make some sense out of the chaos, focusing on whatever aspects of reality exist and working on discerning details of the figures involved in the ritual. Even more than facial features he is in search of accoutments, a black feathered cloak, a ring on the finger similar to Colms.
The world twists into chaos, and Gene thrusts a hand into a pocket of his jacket; drawing out an apple of purest gold, one of the Apples of the Hesperides in fact, though a word is graven into its side. The pad of his thumb slides over that word as he deftly twists himself into the confusion, making it part of him and moving in tune with it as best he can— though not perfectly, he's not his mother, after all. "There they are…" He hesitates, pauses, waiting for the ritual to spring back into view again.
And when it does, he'll be springing forward with a swift fluidity that even spilling water lacks.
Preston suffers a moment of false hope as the maze dissolves and unveils what seems to be the object of their search. He gasps, taking in the scene while reflexively calling his axes into being in each hand. Now as ready as he knows how to be, he looks to Jason for his cue as to what to do next-mostly because neither of them appears to be armed with a golden apple the way Gene is, and so they'll likely have to take the same route to—oh, nevermind. The maze is back. His shoulders slump a bit. Nothing for the Aesir to charge at. Godric voices dismay for the pair with a low, disgruntled whine.
Chaos is certainly a tease. The maze is there, and it remains there. Still, the various accoutrements that Jason has been looking for are all there. There's the black feather shroud around Helena who seems to be doing her best Emma Frost impression considering she's wearing all white, and a rather scandalous all white outfit it is. Still, the other figures that were able to be identified were of course, Aphrodite who was.. standing next to Helena?
What the hell? Aphrodite is there? Standing next to her daughter? Then who was on the altar that the ritual was occuring around? That would've been a gothic lolita of a goddess, Eris herself. Life's funny like that sometimes.
To say that Jason looks a little confused and torn would be an understatement. Having rushed valiantly to the side of his mother that he feared was in peril she.. appeared to be just fine. In the brief display seen. Asking for some clarification would surely be a good idea but given the nature of those involved letting them talk is a gamble all it's own. He asides to Preston, "Things are not as expected. I know this though, my sister and my mother don't get along. Seeing them there together.. I can only assume the worst has already and my mother is now under my sisters sway. The one in white is the bad guy. Don't look at her head on, don't let her talk to you." Words of advice given he is pulling a rabbit's foot out of his pocket, a finger stroking along it. Around the male Scion of Aphrodite in the area the air sudden gets dull, leaden, sounds slowly fading away to surround his vicinity in silence.
As the maze returns, Gene's jaw tenses— and he moves into it like a bolt of lightning, not even bothering to pretend that he's walking like anything mortal anymore. A spider scuttling through a maze, leaping up to hit a wall just to take a corner faster, tearing off in search of the maze's heart, or other side. He doesn't bother waiting for the others to follow.
…however, he does leave a trail of twine in his wake. Yes, he has a ball of twine. This is Olympus, and he's not stupid.
"Ri-" Preston starts to respond, just as the death of sound around him makes it impossible. It takes him a second to realize this is deliberate, and once he does he nods approvingly. He'd thank Jason for taking care of that problem, except the best he can do is offer a thumbs-up. Fortunately, the next question he might've thought of has an answer in the form of a thoughtfully provided trail of twine. With a shrug, he moves to follow it, sparing a glance toward Jason as he hesitates. While he doesn't intend to force the demigod to babysit him, he isn't going to make any missteps that might compromise the mission either, so he defers to Aphrodite's Scion.
Nullifying sound still leaves Helena and whoever else may be there with lots of options. She's not a one trick pony afterall! Stilll, there are lots of twists and turns in the seemingly ever shifting maze! It continues to shift, a slightly disorienting experience but considering people are following one another, it's not too bad. Preston on the other hand might get a rumbly in his tumbly considering it's a rather wild experience, with space warping as they walk through the maze.
Preston finds himself with some changes, unusual changes. His skin, it's starting to change hue, going from the golden sun kissed tan to a variety of colors. If anything, he's matching the wall itself to where it looks like only his clothes are walking! It's Preston! Chameleon boy!
Jason is not so lucky in this case. The forces of chaos are strong and it's warping reality around them. Cosmetic changes abound ashe starts to find that he's having unusual features. His normally muscular torso is now becoming well, slushie. And pudgey to say the least. His cheeks are becoming more plump and fuller. He's becoming a fatty mcfatfat! Oh noes! Even running now will be slightly difficult! Too bad he isnt in shape anymore.
The little twists of chaos and distortion are easily navigated by the Scion of Discord, Gene's every sense bent upon tracking his way through the maze at a breakneck pace that probably would break a world record or two if anyone were there to measure it. The corners slow him down, but not much, and he only pauses occasionally to ensure the trail's still being left and he's on track. An apple in one hand, gun tucked into his belt and ball of twine in the other.
Oh dear. Jason is.. becoming Santa Claus? He saw this movie! This is how it starts! Well, bullets are the gift that keep on giving. He draws his pistols from a jacket that is quickly too tight on him and continues to move towards the source of the disturbance. He is visibly moving more awkward, even divine ichor and superhuman grace can only do so much when your body is no longer familiar. What can he do? Nothing else. It seems. Follow the thread. Walk walk walk. Walk. Puff. Walk.
At first Preston doesn't realize anything's amiss with him. Rather, the transformation Jason suffers is far more distracting. He decorously refrains from comment, only grimacing sympathetically. Before he can come up with anything to say, though, he notes a curious ripple in front of him, where the twine on the floor, and the floor itself, seem to be troubled by a hand-shaped distortion that…ends at his sleeve. "This is different," he muses weakly, breathing out a sigh as he moves to press onward. There's nothing for it right now. His sincerest hope is that this is only temporary.
There's another twist! Another turn! But eventually the trio arrives at the heart of the maze! Fortunately for them, they have the first move for they have the element of surprise. The corrupted Scions are continuing the ritual, and now they can see just what exactly happens when a god loses his or her divinity!
Eris is unconscious on the altar as Helena and her mother stand not too far away from her. The White Bitch is the only one present as silhouettes of the others, including Colm stand in the circle all chanting something in a seemingly lost language. It's a lost language,but it's one that Jason would recognize. It's Atlantean. It is an Atlantean ritual apparently, as the black feather shroud continues to glow, transferring the essence of chaos and divinity to Helena, expanding her powers beyond the norm. Sure she takes after her mother, perhaps that's why Eris was targetted instead!'
The ball of twine tumbles from Gene's hand, landing upon the floor of the maze as he stalks forward with a steady, implacable stride, one hand dropping down to his belt to pull free his pistol; the antique weapon's hammer drawn back in the silence that resonates forth from the demigod coming up behind him. Just within the chamber at the maze's heart, though, he sidesteps fluidly into the darkness— and it embraces him, wrapping about him in a loving refuge to hide him from the eyes of his foes.
The ball of twine tumbles from Gene's hand, landing upon the floor of the maze as he stalks forward with a steady, implacable stride, one hand dropping down to his belt to pull free his pistol; the antique weapon's hammer drawn back in the silence that resonates forth from the demigod coming up behind him. Just within the chamber at the maze's heart, though, he sidesteps fluidly into the darkness— and it embraces him, wrapping about him in a loving refuge to hide him from the eyes of his foes.
Jason looks a touch relieved as they finally come to the heart of matters, no more pesky weird flickering in and out maze. Huzzah! Of course he still has no clue what is actually going on and his mother gets tossed a worried look but.. then it is back to sister! Popular, and wise, as simply killing Helena outright may be it seems one Scion of Aphrodite is reluctant to take that approach with another. Instead he charges towards her with his newly hefty frame, carrying his bubble of silence with him which may do it's own bit to disrupt the ritual underway. Failing that, his next actions might, both pistols coming to bear and two shots ringing out. One is aimed to break one of the ties of the cloak holding it to Helena's shoulder while the other is aimed towards her ring finger just above that circlet which is connecting her with her compatriots.
It isn't lost on Preston that in the scope of this adventure he is inconsequential. This doesn't bother him in the slightest-he insisted on tagging along after all-but he's beginning to think that might just this once prove to be an asset. His working theory, as he hastily disrobes, is that the change to his skin that makes him nearly invisible is somehow a reflection of this truth. True enough, he's still chameleon boy, at least for now. Long enough, he hopes, to rush in and presumably yoink the shroud away while the considerably more threatening (if slightly gellid at the moment) Jason creates an appreciable diversion with silent muzzle flashes and the smell of cordite or..whatever's in those pistols. Up he goes, hauling ass to try his bid at helping divest Helena of her gaudy accessory and prevent whatever horrible thing is happening to Eris.
The two who just charge in definitely achieve a goal. The ritual is interrupted as there's a gasp from Helena as she turns around to feel the shroud be pulled off by some force, which for now she assume is the force of the bullet. So Preston got lucky on that as he's still invisible for one more turn afterall and Helena isnt exactly the most perceptive evil bitch around.
Her eyes widen, her hair now crackling with swirling energies of chaos itself. She managed to steal a bit of divinity from Eris afterall and with howling rage, she makes a command! However, there's no sound that comes out and she clutches at her throat, surprised the entire time.
Aphrodite, isnt exactly amused though as Jason can hear her voice in his head! «What have you done!?!?!? The transfer was almost complete!» And of course that means Eris still has a bit of oomph, but very little of it. At least she isnt fully mortal like the good Baron in Ville Au Camp! Still, Aphrodite's raging beauty is a sight to behold as an angry goddess is nothing to mess with. While the goddess of love is not exactly a fighter and not one to go against her own children, she has been placed under her daughter's spell considering the energies of chaos from the ritual have been making nthings wonky the entire time. She steps out of the bubble and screams. "The bitch was getting what she deserved!!!!" she screamed. It's a fact that Eris has messed with Aphrodite afterall, and with Hera and Athena angry with with Aphrodite for the whole winning the golden apple thing, it seems she grudges.. hard.
Meanwhile, a voice can be heard, one that should be eerily familiar to Gene in particular. He would've heard it before, and now even with the bubble, Preston and Jason hear it as well.
"Tragic Death and Love mingle together to only bring pain and tragedy. Nihilism. Loneliness. Sacrifice. Intoxication. Destruction. Despair. Rage. Greed. Madness. They will haunt you as you search for the truth. Everything is connected.."
See, this is why you should pay attention to ST prophecies!
Jason quickly holsters his guns but it is only to bring another hidden burden out of his jacket. It's one of Pandora's boxes, this one obtained from the High Priest of Zeus within Miami and certain prophetic hints in the past suggested it might even be sufficient to hold an avatar of a titan. A good thing neither of the women decided to attack him at the moment, the box a rather intricate puzzle to be worked with and bits and pieces needing turned at just the right times. Still he is quickly working away at it, working to open it up in the hopes of trapping his sister inside.
The figure that vanished into the shadows has been creeping along the room to get closer to the altar, and steps out now with a smile curved roguish across his lips. There's no words from Gene, forced silent as he is by the divine threnody keeping sound from rising, but he reaches a hand up and flips the fedora from his crown into his grasp—
—and sweeps it in a gesture through the air, the fabrics woven of the very stuff of Night gathering up the light of the room, tearing it away like Helena's gown under an eager lover's hand and plunging the area into Nyx's own darkness.
Helena is one with the darkness. One of the first abilities she demonstrated was the draining of people's will through enshrouding them in darkness and so as she's wrapped up, she can still see, and whatever she's saying to her mother can't be heard. Still, there's a sucking that starts to happen. And it's definitely not the good kind, at least from Helena's perspective as she starts to resist.
The box itself is like a black hole for divine energies. The Titans and their spawn aren't the only one who would be sucked in, but fortunately, this one is pointing towards Helena which is starting to pull her back!
Meanwhile, Aphrodite's eyes widen. Her daughter! Her favorite daughter is going to be trapped! But nonetheless, she made a deal and she starts to run towards the invisible Preston as all she knows is the location of the cloak considering Helena told her where it was. She starts to escape, thrashing away from the darkness as she laughs at the meager attempts to capture a goddess such as herself. "This won't happen. I will get my revenge!" she cries out and attempts to grab the black shroud from Preston's grasp, using her own divine strength to rip it out from his hands, unless he's really lucky or really good at keeping it. Should she succeed, she disappears along with the rest of the silhouettes performing the ritual, along with the giant stone statue in the middle! Oh goodness!
And yes, Helena's resisting, but she's getting dragged in..yay for the good guys?
No sooner can Preston savor his moment of quiet triumph, raising the shroud to inspect as he starts to back toward the entrance to the chamber, than the terrible beauty of Aphrodite floods his vision and overpowers his reason. Mercifully he remains camouflaged, so the dumbstruck expression on his face and other telltales of his overwhelmed state remain concealed. His fingers cling desperately to the shroud, compelled by something deeper than his awareness, but when the light is snuffed in the center of the chamber his strength gives out against the tenacious insistence of the goddess and he feels the feathers glide across his palm. He cries out in dismay, reaching ineffectually with cramped fingers toward the space the vision of quintessential beauty so recently filled, and feels his heart break.
Composure returns a heartbeat later. Having seen victory whisked away from him, he resolves to make amends for his failure in whatever way he can. Presently that involves plowing into the back of the rouge demigoddess behind this mess, and so he whistles for Godric to assist him in a well-practiced maneuver wherein he sprints, and then leaps to impact his shoulder between Helena's while the oversized Lundie barrels into her feet to topple her forward.
The slap of bare feet on the chamber floor grows louder until the globe of silence devours it. A low whiney growl dopplers in from the opposite direction, carried into range of hearing by the furry blur that is Godric at a full-tilt run. Moments before impact, the chaos warping Preston's pigmentation bleeds off of him to reveal his bronzed form as he leaps from the stone to plow into Helena's back, letting the impact carry him past her as Godric streaks by from the opposite direction so that for a moment the pair occupy the same space, crowding the demigoddess and taking her balance away. Then, they tumble away, completing the x-formation, with Preston rolling to one knee to watch the results of his attempt..and to finally note the black feathers in his white-knuckled grasp.
The box sucks in Helena into a Phantom Zone esque realm away from this reality and the next. But that has unseen consequences. There's a reason why most boxes like these aren't used often. The chaos energies from the release and partial loss of Eris' powers and divinity starts to interact with the box itself. The box was made to contain divine energies, now what other than gods and their children would be made of divine energy. The realm itself!
Olympus starts falling apart, crackling as the maze starts cracking, sending pieces through into the box soon after Helena. Anything near the event horizon of the vortex continues to be sucked in, the altar with Eris being pulled towards the box as well.
More energies crackle and sizzle around them all as the maze falls apart. The structural integrity of Aphrodite's realm is gone considering the mistress has left, and with it the need for the realm to actually exist! Oh noes!
Jason has a look of satisfaction as Helena goes into the box but.. oh dear.. tearing the realm apart was not exactly in his plans! He exerts his focus into closing the box once again, still pudgy fingers undoing what he did before and working the puzzle pieces and locks in the other direction. Trying to shut off that massive vacuum of supernatural energies before it really does bring the whole place down around them. It's no easy task, he really does look like a fireman with a firehose or a Ghostbuster working with their pack, the sheer energy of that power causing him to struggle.
"Whoa there…" As the altar starts to slide towards the chaotic box, Gene lunges out to grab hold of it—one arm across Eris, the other across the stone, gripping hold of it firmly, "…you're not going anywhere that easily, mother." Then the universe around them begins to flex, to twist and tear, and he looks up, "Oh, hell."
As Jason wrestles with the box, to apparently keep it from pulling in everything with Helena, Preston glances hurriedly about to take stock of the situation. Primarily, he makes sure Godric is safe, which proves to be true, and then to see what became of the shadowy audience for the ceremony. Eris appears to be safe enough, if one ignores that the realm appears to be coming apart. Preston makes time to reclaim his pants and sneakers, as the dissolution of their environs has cast them about like leaves in a whirlwind, largely in the interest of having pockets to stow the feathers in. That'll be important later, he suspects. "How do we get out of here?" he asks, assuming that the old warhorses are probably used to this kind of thing by now.
Jason finally manages to wrestle the box shut and he stows it back away carefully before looking around at the insane energies coarsing around, tearing the realm already weakened by the absence of it's mistress to shreds. Catching sight of the feathers still clutched in Preston's hand he calls out to him, "We don't. If this bubble collapses in on itself it might harm Olympus. Get those feathers over to Gene and his Mother. They somehow are used to transfer divinity. These are her energies floating about in the air, they should both already be attuned to them. Try to.. suck them down.. somehow. I'm going to try to strengthen the realm itself." Which is just what he does, snagging a dagger as it flies past in the chaotic maelstrom and he crouches down into the ground, driving the knife through the back of his hand. Blood and ichor flow from his wound into the grass below and he says firmly, "You are my mother's realm. Her blood and her will shaped you and in her absence you are weak. But her blood is mine and so too are we connected!" Is he simply trying to strengthen the realm? Is he trying to become it's Master as it no longer has a Mistress? Both. Perhaps. Will and blood and ichor unified in their purpose to see this place does not fall.
"I don't know how far the bitch got before you boxed her, but mother isn't looking all that hot…" It's up onto the altar that Gene climbs, half-kneeling over Eris's supine form just in case the floor stops existing and they start to fall. At least he could surf the primordial chaos, or something, perhaps. At the mention of the feathers, he looks up, "Worth a try…"
Initially dumbstruck by the answer he receives, Preston quickly snaps back to the present and nods sharply to Jason. He's quick to race to the altar with the three feathers he could dig out of his pocket in a hurry ready to hand over to Gene. "Here," he says hurriedly, offering two. "Maybe I can help. That's-pretty much what I came here to do. We just….give her our energy, right? I mean.." He looks over to where Jason is bleeding life into the realm and gives the other Scion a curious look and a shrug, wordlessly asking if they'll need to bleed too.
"You're not her son," replies Gene in tight, hurried tones even as he reaches over for the pair of feathers, "If there's anyone that has a chance of stabilizing this realm, it's him, although I don't know how much of what's going on is bleed from mother…" She always was a vindictive bitch, after all, and boiling a realm away into chaos falls firmly under her purview. "Alright— shit— so where'd that feather cloak come from, again, it's the first I've seen of the damn thing…"
"Okay, so he can stabilize it," Preston replies impatiently, "can you stabilize /her/?" He consults Eris with a glance, uncomfortable and vaguely apologetic. This has not been an auspicious first encounter with gods outside his family. He has the time to wonder, while everything's going crazy around him, if he's somehow being rude. But he turns his attention on Gene again. "I won't try anything. This is all you. Just- Maia says it's what they used to make Baron Samedi mortal, like they were going to do to-" he looks to the tortured goddess again "-you." Best not to talk about a divine being as if they weren't present. "So maybe it works the other way? I'm really new at all this."
Answers are not forthcoming from Jason. Remaining crouched upon the ground with his hand impaled through with the dagger the ground is growing muddy with his blood. It seems he has already bled out more than his body really should be able to hold, and yet still more flows from that wound. Him giving all that he has to trying to keep the ground beneath their feet stable while others work to dissipate that which would tear it apart.
"Ah, Hades…" An oath sworn under Gene's breath as the world continues to ripple and buck beneath them; the feathers in his hand considered for a moment, and then he exhales a snort, "To hell with it." The same apple that garnered his mother such enmity is pulled back into hand again, an apple taken from the tree that gives the Gods themselves their immortalityor so say the legends, at least on Olympus. The feathers are swept through the air, his hand purposefully going /against/ the tides of chaos he feels in hopes of gathering up their power, then driven into the golden flesh of the apple. It's reached down towards Eris's lips, then, his other hand helping her head up as he states in flat urgency, "Worth a tryhave an apple, mother."
Eh, he didn't need that relic anyway.
That's certainly an interesting tactic! One that even the ST didn't anticipate! As the flesh of the golden apple is pierced and Eris starts to suckle upon the divine juices (better than Mott's or Welch's that's for damn sure), the chaos energies arc and strike the apple and Eris, refilling her with energy once more. The realm starts to stabilize both from the combination of both demigod's sacrifice! They won! Perhaps..
Free to be a spectator while the Dodekatheon Scions do the heavy lifting of putting things to rights, Preston divides his attention between the pair, taking a reverent step back from the altar. He pockets the third feather in the hope that they've affected a solution. It appears to be the case, as he notes the working of Eris's jaw upon the apple and the sense of stability that settles over their surroundings.
As things finally begin to calm Jason finally rises from his crouch, pulling the dagger free from his hand and his flesh knitting back together whole after it's passage. A deep breath, he's looking a little pale but hey! He's lost weight! Back to his regular self once again sans extra pounds and one hell of a lot of blood. "I think that did it" Jason offers looking around at the surroundings, "You should get your mother somewhere safe Gene, and if I could get one of those feathers I'd appreciate it. I fear my sister already got some portion of my mothers power to exert the influence she did. She will not keep it."
"There you go…" Gene exhales a sigh of breath as the sweet, divine juices of the apple spill over her dark lips, his other hand cradling her head ever so gently, "…fuck. Thank the gods." A lift of his head, looking slowly around the realm as it stabilizes, "She doesn't usually live on Olympus, I don't think—I'll bring her to Ares, he'll watch over his sister."
With a sharp nod, Preston hands over one of the feathers to Jason. "She did seem…well, not so much like a goddess of love. I hope this helps." He smiles tentatively, looking about before he ventures to ask, "So..what do we do now?"
Accepting the feather and tucking it away he says, "Thank you. She is not normally like that, but the abilities of my sister to warp and bend minds is impressive." Letting out a breath and looking around he says, "And now. Now we go find Zeus. These are his halls and his palace, he needs to know has happened in case Helena left any surprises behind." Leave the realm Jason does! With a little assistance from his GPS making his way out back into Olympus proper and to the throne room.
Any additional notes fall to the bottom.