|Scene Title||Road Trip, Part 1|
|Synopsis||Jason recieves yet another quest from his family, and takes off on a long drive.|
New York City is one of the most recognizable cities in the world. An intricate dance of millions of people going about their separate paths to form a larger pattern recognizable only to the gods. One such god is in the city this morning. He zips handily through the air, unseen by the mortals beginning their day below him. As he nears his destination, he smiles to himself. Once again, he's finished one journey and, eager to begin the next one, he pushes with his divine will and abruptly appears next to his target.
"Hello, Jason," Hermes says cheerfully. "You're about to hate my guts."
Jason is fortunately doing things such as wearing clothes and not having sex with a beautiful woman at the moment. Otherwise Hermes might get himself shot. Instead Jason had planted himself in a corner of the Columbria Library surrounded by books. For a cool dude he gets caught in libraries way too much, it's humiliating. Warily he looks up and over at Hermes and says, "You're probably right of course. I mean anyone that simply pops in with a line like that is starting off on the right foot to make it true. So just /why/ am I about to hate your guts?"
Hermes just smiles and shakes his head. He pulls up a chair and sits down, propping his feet up on the table. "Before I even get started, let me lay a few ground rules. One, don't argue because it won't help. Trust me, I've been doing this a long time. Two, I know you've got a full plate. Heard about that job Hera gave you." He chuckles. "I swear, one of these days I'm going to have Heph just put a GPS locator on the damn fleece and give it to Artemis. Anyway, Three, get up and follow me outside. Now." He stands and immediately heads for the door. His gait is smooth, fast, much too fast for a walk, but he's obviously not putting any more effort into it than a casual stroll.
Right. Despite the lack of proper introductions Hermes at least seems enough in the know of family business to be worth listening too. Jason could argue, but does not appear to feel inclined instead getting up to follow after. "Do you think that would work? It seems the thing is built to quest after. Going around and around as that is the nature of thing."
"Oh, I know. You're not the first to get sent on that goose chase," Hermes says, pushing open the doors and exiting the library. "Come to think of, the other Jason wasn't the first either. And I'm not entirely sure GPS works when you're somewhere the sattelites can't see." He shrugs, and turns to look assessingly at Jason. "Just a thought." He reaches out and pulls an ornate wooden box out of thin air, which he holds out to Jason. "Back to business, then. See this? This is your new pride and joy. Don't open it."
"Check" Jason says accepting the box and studying it for a moment, turning it this way and that in his hands as he peers down at it. "Is there any particular reason you are given me an unopenable little box to take pride and joy in? And I'd rather think of anyone could build a satellite that could actually see anywhere it would be Heph. I understand he's talented at just that sort of thing."
"Maybe once the war is over. He's been forging night and day lately, turning out weapons and the like. Toys for you kids, too." Hermes shrugs. "But that box right there? That needs to go to Miami. As in, now." Hermes smiles again. "I've got a million more deliveries to make, and I'm entrusting that one with you. If you have any questions, ask them now because I have exactly …" He looks at his watch, "two minutes before I've got to go on my next run."
"Who and where am I delivering too? Signature required? Why exactly are you tossing this at me when you could have already ran there yourself?" Jason tosses out, "Priority of answers in that order. Really. Which is good because I suspect if you decide to answer that last one it's the long sort."
Hermes rolls his eyes. "Address is in your pocket. There's a priest there, needs that box. Don't open it. Just tell him your name is Jason and he'll know what to do." Hermes goes serious. "This is not a joke. It's very important that you get that box there to Maimi by nightfall tomorrow. That gives you two days."
"I didn't think it was" Jason says tucking the box inside his pocket, "And yeah. Miami is not all that far away. I still don't know why you're throwing this in my direction, and I want an explanation when you have the time. For now though. I'll see it gets there."
"Good," Hermes says, all smiles and dimples. "And if you have to know, my next drop is about as far from Miami as you can get. Due to . . unforseen circumstances, it is a considerably shorter distance from New York, and timing is everything. Plus, I'm vulnerable in the World and there's, you know, a lot of interest in that box. Watch out for the dragons. Ta!"
And with that, Hermes is gone.
Jason blinks. "I hate my family" Jason grumbles while patting down his pockets to verify both his guns and to pull out the address and peer at it, "And dragons. Right. Guess that means I'd probably better avoid hoping on a plane. Long drive though, even with Phaeton able to go the night through." Right. Well. That musing is that! It's hoping in the car he does instructing it, "Miami Phaeton, fast as we can legally get away with. Sybass, you get to be our radar detector.. and erm.. dragon detector."
"Can you feel the love tonight?" The Sybass inquires as Jason and Phaeton take off on the road. "Wait, what about dragons?" Traffic in New York is pretty heavy right now, not yet thinned from the massive commuter transit beginning the workday. Still, Phaeton is no ordinary car, and could probably out-drive a cabby, so Jason makes good time as he speeds toward the highway.
"You tell me" Jason informs his fish, "You are the prophetic fate sensing one. I'm just a guy with a mysterious box I'm not supposed to open. There is a distinctly minor chance I will get there without having actually done so, too. For his part he just leans back and lets the car do the driving. It's easier that way. Run Phaeton, run!"
It's just a little plastic fish attached to the dash. It has no facial features to speak of, and its tone of voice is forcedly casual, but it nonetheless gives an impression of being extremely, extremely worried. "I sensed Hermes in the city earlier. And we are heading south. Describe this box to me, please. Very carefully."
Jason does better than that, he slips the box out of his pocket and turns around back and forth before one of Sybass's freaky side mounted fish eyes. Wooden. Carved. I think those eyes of yours actually work. And I rather figured that was him, quick footed.
"He gave you Pandora's box?!" The fish screams. "Oh great. Perfect. This is exactly how I wanted to end my existence. Mounted on the dash of a gay car heading for a dragon's gullet. Awesome. Can't wait for the sequel."
"Phaeton is not gay, just artistic" Jason defends while they continue to zip along. Although really.. as the prophetic fish.. maybe Sybass knows something about the cars sexuality Jason does not! Box gets slipped back into a pocket, "Why be so upset? Damned thing was already opened right? Now it's just a toy. What dragon's gullet?"
The car doesn't respond to the baiting, but it does hit a large pothole, rattling the hell out of the fish. "It's not the original, of course," Sybass mentions to Jason. "One of seven copies your oh, so wise grandfather ordered made back in the day. The design of the original had a very specific purpose. It's not just a box, it's a doorway, a prison. It captures the essence of Titans and holds it. The copies do the same thing, on a smaller scale. You can seal away any Titanspawn short of an Avatar in one of those boxes. The tradeoff is that they can see them. You know how the Ringwraiths see the One Ring? Sorta like that. It draws them. You're about to bring down every single servant of the Titans on this side of the continent."
"Ah.. well then.. let's see if we can't help that along a little." Jason reaches into the pocket where the box is, focusing his will upon it. Illusion magic pulses and ripples for a moment. Normally the ability is used to hide a weapon even while being searched, but as long as the object is small and concealable it will work there as well. The box qualifies! A moment of concentration later he withdraws his hand to say, "Phaeton, hope a different route than we're currently going. I hope I just camouflaged the box from most beings that might be able to spy it."
"Won't work," Sybass informs Jason. "Well, it will, but only on the weakest. If you could sense it the way I can, you wouldn't even worry about it. Just make your homo automobilis go faster, will you?"
"Jason, there are six suspicious vehicles accelerating towards us from behind. They appear to be motorcyclists."
"Phaeton, accelerate. Engage chaos navigational abilities. Even with their smaller size you should be able to handle weaving in and out of traffic patterns better than they are." Jason draws his guns and turns to look out the back window calling over his shoulder., "Sybass. You're the all knowing one. Can you help him plot us a route that is going to avoid the worst of anything that might be coming?"
"I can try," Sybass answers. "When you hit the highway, take the third exit and get on the service road. Then you'll want to head west for at least four miles before turning south again."
"Engaged," Phaeton answers. "And it's about time you remembered I can do things. It's always Sybass this and Sybass that. I think you love that fish more than me. I was here first!"
The motorcyclists are visible in the mirrors now. They definitely aren't normal, as the metal of the bikes has been melded and mixed with the flesh of their torsos. Centaurs. Of a sort.
Jason pats the car reassuringly, hard to do when holding a gun but Jason manages it! He's just that kind of gun. "Yes you were. Sybass, in between giving directions to you have operating instructions for this damned box. If these are Titanspawn following us, can we actually seal them up inside?" Cigarette lighter is depressed, once popped the brief flare of flames is used to load his guns.
"NO!" Sybass shouts at Jason. "If there's something already in there, you could be letting it out. The smaller boxes can only hold one at a time. You put something in, you let what's already in out. Remember the myths. Opening the box is BAD!"
Phaeton decides to really show what he's capable of. The car slows dramatically, allowing the cyclists to catch up. As soon as two of them try to overtake him, he swerves hard and scatters the group, sending half of them off into the guard rail.
Phaeton turns hard at Sybass's order, hitting the exit and leaving the highway. After a few minutes, it looks like the coast is clear.
Jason gets tossed and turned about. Oof. It's like a Star Trek movie inside the car! "Go Phaeton!" Jason says proudly, "Erika has been showing you action movies lately hasn't she? Remind me to buy her lobster." Then he is peering dubiously at Sybass and he says, "So you are the one it is all glowing brilliantly too. Just what /does/ happen to be in the box? Have you any idea?"
"Thank you, Jason. It's nice to be appreciated." Phaeton sounds smug.
Sybass, on the other hand, is a little more grumpy. "I'm an Oracle, not a Titan, bright eyes. That's why I can see it, but it won't work on me. I hope." He sounds a bit worried. "All I know is that it's a containment. A prison, built specifically to draw in and hold Titanspawn. The original was actually built to hold a Greater Titan, but it never got put into use for that purpose. It's a rather sordid tale, actually."
"Like in Ghost Busters" Jason volunteers, "The little traps. And the original Pandora's box would have been that big containment unit they had in the basement. Neat. Well, not neat when all the ghosts come hunting for the one you have but.. you know. We'll get along. Phaeton, you're always appreciated. Sybass, if you could help in continuing to plot a route likely to be free of Titanspawn and other stuff looking to kill us that would be great. I'm going to nap. Wake me up if you need something shot at."
Continued in Road Trip, Pt 2