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Northwest Slobovia
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Postby Northwest Slobovia » Wed Apr 14, 2021 4:12 pm

Hades
Giovenith wrote:Giovenith said nothing, passively listening to the immortal with a moist-eyed, chastised look.

Minos met Giovenith's sad-puppy eyes with an unmoved, unimpressed expression. "I suggest you save your contrition act for the Muses. They can provide a much more detailed critique of your performance than I can."

Giovenith wrote:"Will the others have to attend as well, or may they go home?"

"Neither. They, along with other chosen worshippers of the pantheons, will participate in the ceremony, but not the celebration. They will be free to and obliged to leave at that point. Those of your companions from Bermeja will return there. The Equestrians may return home with their Princess, or visit Bermeja, as they see fit."

Solisian Union wrote:[T]he softening of the tone in Minos somewhat allowed [Domenica] to let out a big sigh of relief as she trembled while wiping herself clean and later saying, "I-I'm sorry, but if I may, I...I gotta change. Clothes. I mean. Change clothes. I...I wet myself."

The clerk nearest to Domenica and the Equestrians shot her an annoyed look. "Quiet! Minos is addressing another god!" A moment later, the clerk added a flick of his fingers, and Domenica was clean and dry.

"You will all accompany Me," intoned Minos, turning and walking in the direction He came. Cerberus started to follow, as did the clerks. The group found itself moving with Him. Their surroundings seemed affected by the strange fast-slow sensation experienced in Tartaros' shaft: they seemed to be moving slowly, but the landscape and the dead raced by around them.

Sandy Looked around with interest, and experimentally kicked the nothingness they were riding on. It didn't even flex. Turning to Amanda and Giovenith, he whispered. "Not a forcefield as, uh, such. It's an effect of the..." His fingers waggled as he sought a simple expression. "… of His distance distorting magic."
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Solisian Union
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Postby Solisian Union » Wed Apr 14, 2021 6:34 pm

Domenica almost let out a strong eep at the moment a clerk snapped at her. She would have jumped but when she felt, just after the clerk flicked their fingers, her clothes become clean and dry, she could not help but smile and seemingly look at them thankfully. Afterwards, she just patted at her pants for a bit then turned to Gio and the others when she felt that they were being moved with Him.

"Whoa!" she let out, almost losing her footing but quickly being able to get herself in order. She moved along as she looked around. Domenica found herself filled again with interest at what she saw, with the landscape all around them plus the dead racing by around them.

At first, she felt a chill go up her spine but that faded away as interest and curiosity replaced that. She wanted to take notes but felt it disrespectful, observing instead for just a while before she turned to Sandy.

"Distance distorting magic? So, like an illusion? What for?"
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Giovenith
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Postby Giovenith » Wed Apr 14, 2021 8:55 pm

Giovenith said nothing as the former king of Crete walked away, suppressing a sigh. She supposed you couldn't expect someone best known for feeding children to a horrible bull-monster for the lulz to not be a dick. She really didn't want to go this event, knowing that both the formality and context of it was just a recipe for unbearable discomfort, but they had little choice. She could deal with it, she'd put up with worse. It was more making sure that Willow didn't go all Gale Hawthorne on anyone's ass now that she was concerned with.

She walked backward subtly as the rest of the group approached forward, keeping her expression inoffensive as she firmly grabbed a fistful of his mane and ear, not enough to hurt him but alarming nonetheless. She pulled him close.

"Don't you say a damn thing," Giovenith hissed in the quietest whisper.

Willow blinked, surprised at her. She rarely spoke to him harshly. "I'm not stupid-" he mumbled back.

"No, you're passionate and that's worse. Whatever feelings you catch over this, swallow it back and save it for the island."

Well damn, enough said. He rolled his eyes slightly and tugged away from her. "Roger."

"We're not going to watch a sacrifice or something, are we?" Starlight asked only half-seriously, trotting up beside the two. "Not that I couldn't handle it. It'd just be a bummer to explain to Twilight later."

Sunburst stood back with Domenica, offering her a piece of his cloak to hold onto for comfort. He had a feeling the two of them might have been the only ones taking this as seriously as perhaps everyone should have.

"Everything's going to be alright," he reassured, adjusting his glasses. "We'll just say as little as possible and move on from here, okay? Nothing bad will happen if we don't give it a reason to."
Last edited by Giovenith on Wed Apr 14, 2021 8:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
❃and in time, and in time, we will all be stars❃

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Northwest Slobovia
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Postby Northwest Slobovia » Thu Apr 15, 2021 7:22 pm

Hades
Giovenith wrote:"We're not going to watch a sacrifice or something, are we?" Starlight asked only half-seriously, trotting up beside the two. "Not that I couldn't handle it. It'd just be a bummer to explain to Twilight later."

Minos faced Starlight, a touch of amusement visible on his face. "'Sacrifice'? Is that what you believe about Us? That everything is accompanied by 'sacrifice'?

"Our worshippers do dedicate things to Us, which we appreciate, but they are done at their proper times and in their proper places, not something We do, nor that our worshippers do willy-nilly."

Despite Him standing in place, His back to the direction they were headed, the group kept moving. "The ceremony is plain in execution, but rich in meaning. Persephone will lead a procession accompanied by song. The singing will be provided by all of the pantheons represented, gods and worshippers alike, each singing in their own style, with overall direction provided by Apollo and the Muses.

"Which brings us to the next order of business: sheet music for each of you." Minos gestured, and one of His clerks presented Giovenith a thin songbook, opened to the first page of music. "The music should be familiar, God-Child, even if the lyrics... are now appropriate for the situation."

Another clerk stepped forward, and offered a songbook to Amanda, as Minos continued. "Counsellor, you've been afforded a rare honor. By virtue of your station, your singing ability, and your literacy in Galilean Aramaic, you will be with Jesus, in the second row of your pantheon's chorus, behind the saints, and just to Gabriel's right."

Amanda stood stunned for a second, then took the music she was handed and started to skim it, a look of intense concentration on her face. She glanced up and Minos and then back at the songbook, before returning her gaze to the Senior Judge of the Dead. "Um, Your Honor, am I expected to sight-sing Aramaic?"

"Yes. It will be challenging, however, you will have the assistance of the leader of the Celestial Choir, the Muses, and indirectly, all of the pantheons present."

After swallowing hard, Amanda said, "I'll do my best." She returned to looking at the music, and something clicked: she'd seen this before. "Bach must be spinning in his grave."

"It must be strange singing praises to the Olympians in a Christian style, but the music is beautiful and apropos. We, along with Our worshippers, sing in Our manner for Jesus in turn.

"As to Bach's final reward, I suggest you direct your questions to Him."

Pointing, Minos directed a third clerk forward, who brought a songbook to Nick, holding it for him. The lyrics were in English, and the music was in a form he could read. "You, Nick, the Two Pantheons Favored, will sing with Osiris and the Egyptian contingent. Your voice will harmonize with theirs; differences in language notwithstanding. You have the Muses' thanks, but Bastet's motherly love, and so Her pantheon has the greater claim on your singing today."

"Pegasus and his Keeper need no music, of course." Minos's conversational gesture showed he still retained touches of his mortal life. "Nyx will provide you your cues."

Sandy did his best to look at Minos, rather than staring into the distance or at the floor as he considered that. "She can, I think, make the stars... rise and-- move through their courses. So... am I to fly into the night sky?"

"Yes."

Sandy risked a grin. "A special effect, then."

"Or a unique solo performance in honor of a significant event. Either way, you will have the eyes of many gods upon you." Sandy wasn't sure if that was meant as encouragement or as a warning.

Nor was Sandy sure of the significance of the inflections in Minos' speech. Honorifics of some form, though Greek no longer possessed formal modes. Giovenith knew their meaning: everybody was honored according to how they fit into the big picture, starting with herself. Then Amanda, bearing a Blessing, followed by Nick, who indeed had the favor of two pantheons, and as a guest of Olympus, was honored before and above one of Their own Favorites.

On command, three additional clerks presented songbooks to the Equestrians. As with the other songbooks, the music was familiar, but the lyrics were new. "Luna is attending for the Princesses."

Finally, Domenica was handed a songbook. "And you will also be with Jesus, though further away from Him."
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Giovenith
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Postby Giovenith » Thu Apr 15, 2021 9:41 pm

Starlight didn't seem terribly surprised or offended by Minos' rebuff, merely accepting the songbook and flipping through it with curiosity. "Hmm. Very formal."

She raised an eye at the mention of Princess Luna. That was unexpected, but it set her mind at ease somewhat -- Luna was a protective Princess, she wouldn't be attending if she didn't think it was a situation where things could stay in control. Then again, Luna was also very fierce, and she might have been sent precisely because of how dangerous it could be. Either way though, it was good to see they had representation.

"It shouldn't be too hard," she said in regards to the music, tapping it neatly with her magic. "I did a little bit of conducting myself in my day for my, community."

"Oh, I don't si-" Willow started after receiving his songbook, only to be cut off by Giovenith.

"We'll all do our best," she said, directing a pointed look at him. "Won't we?"

He slightly narrowed his eyes at her for a split second but conceded. "Yes, absolutely."

"Won't your Princess care if we're not very good?" Sunburst piped up from the back with Domenica. His question sounded sincere rather than evasive. "Surely she would want ponies who are more professional sounding for a special occasion? Why all amateur singing from the guests?"
Last edited by Giovenith on Sat Apr 17, 2021 6:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
❃and in time, and in time, we will all be stars❃

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Northwest Slobovia
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Postby Northwest Slobovia » Sun Apr 18, 2021 7:07 pm

Hades

Giovenith wrote:"It shouldn't be too hard," she said in regards to the music, tapping it neatly with her magic. "I did a little bit of conducting myself in my day for my, community."

With an appreciative nod and smile, Minos replied, "If you would like to do Us, your Princesses, and all the pantheons a favor and conduct for a medium-sized group, including those with Luna, please ask Luna to point out Kalliope, the Muse who is leading the singing for the section of pantheons. Kalliope will appreciate your assistance."

Giovenith wrote:"Oh, I don't si-" Willow started after receiving his songbook, only to be cut off by Giovenith.

"We'll all do our best," she said, directing a pointed look at him. "Won't we?"

He slightly narrowed his eyes at her for a split second but conceded. "Yes, absolutely."

"Won't your Princess care if we're not very good?" Sunburst piped up from the back with Domenica. [...] "Surely she would want ponies who are more professional sounding for a special occasion? Why all amateur singing from the guests?"

Minos' face was the portrait of disappointment, and his tone matched it. "Manners, Giovenith, manners. Willow is your friend, but the Princesses' worshipper. He should be treated with the restraint due all pantheons' worshippers. His objection is germane and reasonable, and I allow it.

"Rumors spread quickly at these large gatherings, so even the wrong word to the wrong Favorite could have-- Well, you know how to act in public; I trust your mother raised you well. Not everybody knows who you're friends with. Please keep your family's good reputation in mind today."

Catching Willow's and Sunburst's eyes, Minos returned to the previous subject. "It's not the quality of the singing that matters, but the appreciation it shows. While We do like strong shows of appreciation, when anything of fine quality is given to Us, the mere willingness to offer Us something is enough to make Us happy.

"Today, the quality matters even less. The Muses are goddesses of the arts, they inspire people to excel. While each Muse has Her speciality, the art She most inspires in people, collectively, They are known for Their singing. And collectively, They inspire music in others.

"Like many other gods, the Muses can induce feelings in others at a distance; your Princesses do, and I'm certain you both feel My Presense, a sense of justice and decorum around Me. The Muses can inspire people at a distance. Today, when all of Us Olympians are gathered with Our friends and allies, that distance is tremendous, and the inspiration is great.

"You will be able to sing, Willow. Have no doubt: you will sing well. Those who have musical talents will find them multiplied: Starlight, if she is willing, will be able to lead a large group with perfect timing; Amanda will be able to sing in a language she barely reads, and due to her station, she will sing with supernatural beauty."

"I—" Amanda started to speak, stopped, and was cut off as Minos raised a finger. "There is one other detail we must take care of before we arrive: everybody gets a crown. Their meaning will become clear as the ceremony progresses." One of the clerks placed a crown on Minos' head: it was more a wreath woven of greyish plants with stalks covered with white flowers. In unison, a group of clerks came forward and placed one on all the mortals' heads, other than Sandy's. The clerk facing Giovenith merely offered her a crown; it would be Appropriate for her to accept it, but Rude for even Minos' servants to presume that she'd wear one.

Sandy looked over Amanda's crown. "Asphodel." He turned away, thinking and muttering. "Asphodel? Hmmm... Persephone and asphodel? Not a pomegranate?"

His head jerked up: they were rocketing towards an open gate in a wall stretching as far as he could see.

"Yes," said Minos, "We're almost there."
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Giovenith
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Postby Giovenith » Wed Apr 21, 2021 9:42 pm

Starlight perked at the offer. "Well, if you wouldn't mind..." Catching herself, she forced a humble cough. "Thank you for the opportunity, though." It was always awkward to admit she still enjoyed being a leader from time to time.

"So through their magic, we'll be good no matter what," Sunburst summarized Minos' explanation, looking down at the music book with a new perspective. "I see. In that case, I'll definitely do my best to show my appreciation."

Giovenith was stifled by Minos' chiding and she went silent again with an ambivalent expression. He was right, of course. But the patronizing reminder of her status and the folly possible with it poked something raw in her, a mixture of frustration and helplessness she wasn't quite capable of explaining. It was a little trigger that brought on a flood of back-up emotions. She was angry at him, angry at herself, and angry at no one all at once. Of course she couldn't show it outwardly. She just clenched her jaw tightly, tried to purse her lips into a neutral expression, and held back hot tears.

I'm stupid, she thought. No, this is stupid- No... She wasn't sure what to feel about herself.

Willow, ever attuned to his friend, folded his ears as he watched her expression before speaking up. "No, she's right, singing's not a big deal," he said, shifting to a casual tone in an attempt to lift the mood. "And if anyone has an issue with me and Gio, I'd be happy to let them know that we're all good. I can stand up for myself after all."

The subtle reassurance that he was on her side cooled Giovenith a bit, though there was a lingering sadness. This feeling was validated when the flower crown was offered to her — a subtle insult. Little fail-goddess doesn't deserve to be counted among her kind. Well, joke was on them, she didn't consider being counted among mortals to be demeaning. Being a failure in general, on the other hand...

Giovenith blinked hard. No, she thought. Sandy and Toola said there's still hope. I am not stupid or bad. I'm not a mess-up. I'll still... She cut off the thoughts abruptly lest her emotion spill over. Taking a quick deep breath, she gently took the crown into her hands. "Thank you," she said, forcing a smile. "I really like flowers, they're pretty in people's hair."
❃and in time, and in time, we will all be stars❃

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Monfrox
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Postby Monfrox » Sun Apr 25, 2021 11:52 pm

Island

Varona noted the lack of concern for life he seemed to have for the other residents of the island that came before her. She looked down to see the paper girl getting a bit too close for comfort, and promptly moved her arm away. She descended the stairs and moved into the proper entrance of her getaway home. There was concrete walls with no windows to speak of, and a few steel doors that led into the bathroom, her sleeping quarters, and a small workshop. There was hardly any real furnishing at all, just supply crates about, a few steel chairs, and a small TV and radio. A small mobile stove was sitting on a table with a box of MREs next to it. She put her rifle up against the wall and pulled her hood off, letting her dull grayish-white hair flow out from under it.

"Very nice. Da, this will do."

The MREs grabbed her attention. Varona picked one up and opened it. She dug in and pulled out a nice little dark chocolate bar. She unwrapped it and broke a piece off for herself. Yes, it had been a long while since she had any chocolate for herself. She pulled her metal mask off and set it on the table before popping the piece into her mouth. She looked at Sallow and slowly, as if still deciding if she trusted him, held the chocolate bar out towards him. She absent-mindedly stopped chewing.

Out on the beach, another body washed ashore. This one, perhaps, was more familiar than the last. And yet, it wasn't at the same time. The tusseled brown hair was wet and matted with grime and sweat mixing with the seawater. Their usual casual dress of jeans and a t-shirt was replaced with a tattered jungle uniform dating back to a bygone era. Their hat was gone, and a steel helmet lay upturned in the sand of the beach. The body moved and rolled over. Equipment and gear rattled. Bandoliers and harnesses. Seawater was expelled from the lungs out the mouth.

"Fuck...fuck...where....where's my..."

Their hands reached out, pulling the helmet up and placing it on top of their head. Water flowed down their face from it. The next thing pulled near was a rifle, small and made of more plastic than any other of its time. They expertly checked over the weapon in record time before wiping the hair and sand from their eyes.

"The chopper...shit! The-...Jack! ...Jack?"

But there was no chopper, or anyone else on the beach. In fact, it was rather peaceful and empty for the most part. Though they struggled to stay up. Breathing heavy, they looked around and noticed how quiet it was, and how not like where they had just came from it seemed. They looked down and noticed two silver metal pieces hanging from a chain around their neck with lettering stamped into them. There was a blood type, a religion, and a service number as well as a name that started with B-R-I-T.

"Well shit...where'd I even go this time?" She said, looking and using her rifle stock to help force herself off the beach and to her feet.
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Solisian Union
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Postby Solisian Union » Mon Apr 26, 2021 9:17 am

Finally, Domenica was handed a songbook. "And you will also be with Jesus, though further away from Him."


Before that, Domenica had listened to all, observed all, just as she had always done beforehand, but she seemed to bot give heed to the urges in her mind that drove her to take notes so meticulously in the hours before, and up to the moment she was handed the songbook, she seemed to feel...out of it. Something felt wrong. Something was gnawing at her to come out. And she knew what she was. She was hiding. She pretended before all to be simply a Chronicler, yet perhaps the Olympians are aware of what she really was, or perhaps not, as they haven't done anything to force her whole self out there. Yet, she kept her truth hidden, but that came at the cost, at least partially, of her own self control and her own ability to comprehend what really was going on. She had heard her friends. She had seen them all. And she had witnessed all that was happening. Yet, that did not seem to drive her toward any meaningful action. Not now, at least.

And when she felt the songbook in her hands, the material firm against the flesh of her fingers, Domenica the Filipina, who was in fact a personification of writing, and was indeed correctly considered the Chronicler, to be considered correctly as a scribe, seemed to look down at it. She blinked a few times. Something gnawed at her heart. Sweat came out of her face and head. She looked up at the one who handed her the songbook and, with a clearly confused and uncomfortable expression upon her, said, "Wait. Wait, I'm sorry what?"

She looked around and then back to the front. And all she would say, after another look at the songbook, plus a quick skimming of the pages inside, which revealed to her actual lyrics in a language she understood and knew well, was, "What? I thought I couldn't just call upon..."

She stared at it. She gripped it tightly. Then she, hands trembling, opened up the book, letting the pages come exposed to her. Domenica then said, "Wala gyud ko kasabot ani. " which translated out as, "I really don't understand this."

And when she was given a crown, a crown of flowers, her face had turned from pale to red, becoming flustered in appearance. And she could only manage what seemed to be a shocked but appreciative, "A...a...a..ay, sal...salamat kaayo...." which translated out as, "T....thanks."
Last edited by Solisian Union on Mon Apr 26, 2021 9:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
^_^

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Giovenith
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Postby Giovenith » Mon Apr 26, 2021 6:09 pm

Island

Sallow clapped his hooves together and smiled demurely as if Varona had just offered him a bouquet of flowers. "You are too kind! But please, newcomers are far more deserving of chocolate than The Help."

His head suddenly snapped towards the interest as he gave a delighted gasp.

"Oh, would you get that Missy P?" he asked Ms. Prism, who was already on her way out the door. "Sorry about that, looks like we've got another new friend who just arrived. Do you need any help unpacking, ma'am?"

Beach

Ms. Prism silently appeared beside Brit, standing in a prim plie position as she looked down at her beached form. She reached down and pulled Brit up by her collar with surprising strength, shaking her off and then stepping away to avoid the wetness. She smiled and winced her eyes while tilting her head.

She pulled a small box with a wind-up lever in its side from her pocket. She began to crank it.

"Hi Brit!" came a metallic voice from the box. "Welcome to Bermeja! It's been a long, long time..."
Last edited by Giovenith on Mon Apr 26, 2021 6:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
❃and in time, and in time, we will all be stars❃

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Monfrox
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Postby Monfrox » Thu Apr 29, 2021 12:25 am

Island

Varona flashed a small smile, venturing to toss the chocolate at Sallow to challenge his modesty.

"No thank you, I think I've got it handled from here. I just have to get the sand out of everywhere."

She went over to her workbench after grabbing the anti-tank rifle, ready to pull it apart for a good cleaning.

On the beach, Brit got a rude awakening when she was suddenly and violently shook by her uniform. Her helmet flew off her head and she fell back onto the sand when she was released. Her eyes were a bit wild, but also tempered. She locked her gaze with Ms. Prism, her hand unconsciously tightly gripped around her M16 to the point her knuckles were white. The voice box spoke, bringing her attention to the present. She may have been on the beach, but her mind was still somewhere else a bit. It had been a long time, yes. Things had changed. Before her was a paper-copy of one of her closest friends that she vaguely remembered as a sort of mime. She remembered being weirded out by her, but there had been so many things she'd been more concerned with lately with her Gate trips.

Brit slowly shook her head and stood up, pulling the helmet out of the sand and putting it back onto her head. There was an ace of spades card stuck in the helmet band along with a bottle of Lubricant - Small Arms. There were words scrawled on the leaf-pattern camouflage in black marker, with the one up front reading "Saint Nicholson - Patroness Saint of Broken Arrows". There were more all around the rest of the helmet reading "Warning: Vietnam may be hazardous to your health", "Don't follow me, I'm lost too", "Romans 13:4", and "Peace Through Superior Firepower" along with a few tally marks. Her jungle uniform blouse had its sleeves cutoff just above her elbow. It was stained with mud and blood and sweat, like the rest of her clothes and gear. Her face had a gauze patch taped to her cheek and a small band-aid across the bridge of her nose. There were numerous small nicks and cuts that had scabbed over along her arms and neck. Her skin was stained with dirt wherever it wasn't covered.

"I remember you..." Brit said, looking down at Ms. Prism as if she had just recognized she was there. "It...has been a long time...holy shit."
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I wear teal, blue & pink for Swith.
Xing wrote:Yeah but you also are the best at roleplay. (yay Space Core references) I'm pretty sure a four man tank crew is no problem for someone that had 27 different RP characters going at one time.

The Grey Wolf wrote:Froxy knows how to use a whip, I speak from experience.

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Northwest Slobovia
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Postby Northwest Slobovia » Sun May 02, 2021 7:40 pm

Hades

The distance distortion that had been carrying the group along faded away quickly as they crossed through the gate. They arrived into a darkened area, though they could see that not more than a few feet in front of them, it was day-bright, and both sides of a many yards wide area stretching off as far as they could see was lined with people. In some places, it seemed the crowd might be dozens of people deep. Sandy thought it looked like everybody was waiting for a parade.

With so many gods present, their auras filled the area. And with the auras mixed together, mortals felt joy, awe, and wonder. The gods were celebrating, and their followers celebrated too.

"Now where am I supposed...?" As he mumbled Sandy realized his answer: he closed his eyes and Listened. "There!" Morpheus' Song, which Sandy had gotten an excellent Listen to while He chased away Willow's nightmare, was off to his left. Sandy turned, and in the dimness, he made out Morpheus and one of His brothers frantically gesturing for him to come.

Sandy took off at a run. It should have been a run, but with Adonis so close, each of Sandy's steps carried him a long-jumper's record, and he seemed to barely touch the ground with each footfall. The few glimpses people could catch of him revealed a startlingly handsome man. For that matter, Amanda was also beautiful beyond mortal compare, which which Minos could hardly ignore.

"Enjoy Adonis' grace while you can. Jesus or one of His servants will certainly dismiss your husband's spell as unseemly in Their Presence." To the group, Minos added, "Please follow My servants as they lead you to your gods. And, please, make haste. We have little time."

"Make haste" was something of an understatement, as the clerks hustled the group's mortals along as fast as they could without bodily dragging them. Giovenith, however, was merely led to her family, though the clerk kept up a jogging pace.

Nick

Nick simply couldn't move as fast as the clerk wanted, so after asking, the clerk picked up him and carried him at a dead run to where a group of people stood with Osiris. The people were dressed in a bewildering array of clothing styles, but the styles sadly meant nothing to Nick: none were familiar, nor was there any way for him to establish who was who.

Nevertheless, they were prepared for his arrival. A cloth-draped, two-level floating platform hovered at human-head height, and the clerk set Nick atop the higher level, and used the platform's book support to prop the songbook up for him. From his perch, Nick could easily see over his songbook, just like a human could.

As he was brought close to Osiris, Nick felt his Presence: an overwhelming sense of judgement and the need to be careful in word and deed, much like he'd felt around Minos. It seemed there were some differences between or subtleties about the two gods' auras, but teasing them out would take some thinking.

After Nick was settled in, Osiris turned to him. The god's expression was guarded and severe. "Bastet sends greetings to Her Reasoning Hunter. Had She known you would attend, She would have come as well.

"In Her absence, She has directed Sipair-Apepi to serve you during this ceremony." He gestured to a man near Nick; Nick guessed he was a bit older than the Belas, but not too much older. Sipair-Apepi wore something like the chitons Sandy and Baron Primordial had worn in Alexandria, but his hung differently, and gems had been mounted in gold settings and sewn to his chiton in elaborate patterns. He also wore a necklace with a gold Bastet's-head pendant.

"I will attend to your every need, Favored Cub." Sipair-Apepi bowed deeply, arms extended in a gesture of profound subservience. When he straightened, he wore a huge smile on his face. "I am honored to serve you, unique among Her Cubs."

Domenica and Amanda

With Adonis' Boon, Amanda was easily able to keep pace with Minos' clerk, but Domenica had to work at keeping up. They seemed to travel a great distance, but it was hard to tell, as distances had the same surreal sense to them that they did in the shaft linking the parts of Tartaros: perhaps they'd gone no more than the length of a football field, perhaps they'd run thousands of miles.

The clerk started to slow down, and a man stepped out of a group Domenica, Amanda, and the clerk were approaching; he bore a warm, welcoming smile and an open posture. Amanda liked him instantly. She felt odd for a second, then realized why: the Boon was gone. Have we arrived? Is that Him?

Whoever he was, he was dressed in modern, formal Western clothing. Amanda wanted to know who made his suit, because the workmanship was exquisite, better than her best bespoke outfits.

The clerk stopped and bowed to the man, who simply nodded before turning to the women. "Welcome. I am Gabriel."

Uncertain, Amanda tried a simple hello.

"If you'd prefer wings and a trumpet, I can manifest those, but I think your Doubts are far greater than mere appearances."

"I... Uh, yes, but--" She swallowed hard, suddenly all too aware of her weaknesses... but also her strengths. She regained her composure. "Telepath or Foresighted?"

"The distinction would be hard to explain, Facilitator. Either way, I Know." He glanced at Domenica in order to include her. "And either way, you are both welcome in His Embrace."

Gabriel took a step and indicated that the women should follow. He walked a few steps to the back of the assembled group, then pointed at Domenica and waved her over to a space that opened up in the back row. "Domenica, you will be here. Facilitator Amanda, please follow me." He stepped into group, who parted before him, like the Red Sea before Moses.

As Domenica and Amanda moved to follow, they were immersed in Jesus' all-inclusive, all-encompassing Love. Amanda knew His omnibenevolence, that she was certain of, as well as the good intentions and basic goodness of everybody near her. Even Sandy's steadfast belief in redemption made sense, for even the wicked could love others, regardless of what they deserved.

Amanda followed the archangel to the promised second row, and stood next to him. She leaned forward and looked to her left: Yup, there He was, and Sandy called it: Jesus looked like anybody else from the Middle East, complexion like a deep tan, black hair, brown eyes. He wasn't even that much taller than she was! He wore plain white robes like modern Arabs, neither the shimmering samite of modern popular depictions, nor the tattered rags of attempted reconstructions.

He was just this guy, just one who died to Redeem all mankind, even Amanda; she was certain of that as well. Something drew His attention straight ahead, and Amanda found what she expected: the Stigmata, no doubt about it. She took a deep breath and relaxed, perfectly content.
Gollum died for your sins.
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Giovenith
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Giovenith » Fri May 07, 2021 6:59 pm

Hades

Ah crap. Giovenith deflated further (if that was possible) as she was led away and caught the outline of familiar forms in the near distance. She hadn't expected them to be here, somehow, although it made sense in hindsight. She had just thought that she would have time to prepare a sufficient explanation of everything that had happened before having to face her family in person again. How was she supposed to deal with this ceremony and them?

This was the second worst day ever. Might as well get it over with. She huffed in slight frustration and slipped up towards the group.

There were three of them present, and they stopped in their quiet conversation to look at their sister as she approached. Two of them were self-evidently adult gods to even the casual observer whereas the third had a similar level of power to Giovenith.

Giovenith sucked in her lips and stiffened. A pause. “Hi guys.”

A woman in a flawless, blindingly white suit stared at her. Everything about her was sheer white, including her pale, slightly glowing face and hair, which was tucked neatly under a wide-brimmed hat designed for a lady. Beneath her dress jacket was a white turtleneck rolled up all the way to her jaw, and as her arms shifted, one could see that the white gloves she wore were long enough to extend into her sleeves, fully hiding any skin besides her face from showing. The only color on her was her lavender eyes, same as all of her sisters, which remained open for an uncomfortable amount of time as she watched Giovenith approach.

Arith’s habit of forgetting to blink was unnerving enough, but the gaze itself therein — a glassy mix of curiosity and impersonal intensity — was like that of a feral animal stumbled across in the thick wood. Not cruel or even particularly judgmental, but definitely dangerous. Fashion notwithstanding, she was a prehistoric being, the oldest and least human of Perlelei's children. She was, or had been, an executioner. That was her preferred term in English anyway; “warrior” implied a whole way of life that she did not subscribe to and “killer” had malicious connotations. Even “executioner” wasn’t perfect, but there were not many good words for “one who kills those who are good and right for killing as a matter of course,” especially not in the far less bloodsoaked modern era. These days, she had a much more sunny dayjob as the Minister of Environment back in the Empire.

“Hello Giovenith,” greeted the man next to her. It was Haletrynx, the psychopomp that Klaus had met. He was dressed in almost the inversion of his older sister, wearing black slacks and a thick black poncho-cloak with slits for his black-sleeved arms to shift in and out of. These arms shifted out now to offer his younger sister a polite hug, which she tentatively accepted. He reached up to gently pat her head in a familial fashion. Unlike his sisters, his hair was black and his eyes were an unusual amber. “It’s good to see you again.”

“We heard that you were coming a few minutes ago,” said the godling with them. This girl, Seryica, was effectively identical to Giovenith in features. All of the sisters technically were, but this one especially since they were clearly the same age. Despite this, out of all the sisters, she was the most unique looking: She had dyed her hair a dark cherry red and cut it to a classy bob, and she sported a pair of big, blocky glasses. Her sweater-dress was navy blue, and unlike Giovenith’s whimsical striped tights, leg warmers, and sneakers, beneath it she wore conservative black tights and buckled dress shoes. “Did you hear about the ceremony and decide to bring your friends at the last minute?”

“Not exactly,” Giovenith admitted, pulling away from her brother. She looked around. “Where’s Antonai and Serphinia?”

“He and Kathy had shop business, and she had a scouts meeting.”

Arith silently glided in front of Giovenith, Haletrynx backing away in due respect, still leveling the same original gaze down on her. There was a pause. She clamped her gloved hands on her little sister’s shoulders and looked closely at her, as if inspecting her. “The boy has abandoned you.”

Oh dear. Giovenith cringed and waved a hand dismissively. “No, no! I mean, we don’t know that for sure, so much craaaaazy stuff happens in my group.” She tried to smile casually with a shrug and rubbed her own wrist anxiously. “I’m actually going to try to go and look for him. I was actually going to ask mom for my pocket dimension soon for that, because we gotta start planning our future, you know? Aheh, hehe, heh…”

All three of her siblings stared at her. Arith slightly narrowed her eyes. Giovenith widened her awkward smile.

“Giovenith...” said Arith, again pausing for a moment, this time as if carefully considering her words. “... you know that it can be difficult, sometimes, for mortal men to accept-”

“Marcus isn’t like that,” Giovenith protested, glaring now. “You don’t know him. He loves me for me, as a regular person! Same as Antonai and Kathy!”

“Kathandra is a woman.”

“That doesn’t matter these days.”

Arith gave her a skeptical side glance.

“It doesn’t!” Giovenith insisted. She pointed at her older sister. ”You need to stop being so, so…” She suddenly lost her steam and sighed. “Look, I really don’t feel like talking about it right now, can we please just get through this and handle it later? Please?”

The ancient goddess responded by way of gently maneuvering her to stand between Haletrynx and Seryica so that they were in order of age. She adjusted the flower crown on her head and bent down to give her a cold kiss on the cheek. Giovenith sucked in a deep breath and tried to wind her face down to a more presentable expression. Seryica reached out to hold her hand.




"Princess Luna," Sunburst greeted in a way perhaps too casual for a Princess. Nonetheless, he gave the proper bow. "I didn't expect to see you here."

Starlight and Willow also bowed but hung back some steps away. Both of them had met the Princess of the Night before, but neither interacted with her as regularly as Sunburst had. There was a distance brought about by not only her royal status but what Luna in particular represented.

Princess Luna was younger than Celestia, but in theory, equal in power and responsibility. With Princess Celestia, it may have been easy to overlook the duality in her power due to her warm and motherly personality; there was no such subtlety with Luna. She was in equal part the ethereal beauty and reflection of the night — a guardian of dreams with a swirling mane and tail of a miniature night sky, a wonder-inspiring sight filled with twinkling, shooting, and burning stars of all sorts — as well as the terror of it. To be in her presence was to be reminded of the primal fear every diurnal creature carried deep in their blood. Fear of the unknown, the unknowable, the unseen, the scream of an unreachable tribe member and the sudden agony of invisible teeth ripping you apart. Everywhere she stepped, the light around her seemed to be sucked away ever so slightly, making the glimmer from her mane and her silver and obsidian crown and ornamental armor stand out.

Luna was not a mother or teacher. At her core, she was a queen; in practice, she had been slowly trying to change that to something more approachable. Her long exile had left her out of touch with modern custom. She had settled for something akin to a soft-spoken but firm authority and greeted her subjects in front of her now as such.

“Sunburst,” she nodded to him, pronouncing his name with a somewhat clipped accent that was hard to place. It invoked a language that was no longer spoken. “Starlight Glimmer, and Willow Streaks. I am… surprised to enjoy your presence.”

“Sorry Princess, we heard that Tartarus was a lot more interesting than we thought from our new friends, and well…” Starlight looked around at the gathered celebration. “... we kind of wound up biting off more than we could chew.”

“Indeed,” the Princess agreed with the sentiment, somewhat direly. She turned to Willow, who folded his ears and tried not to step backwards. “I know that you have been on a long journey, Willow Streaks. I deeply regret the suffering that you have had to endure.”

Willow shook his head politely, wanting to avoid the subject while still respecting his Princess. “Ah, I’m more than my scars, Princess.”

She smiled warmly and nodded. “As we all are. We will likely be meeting each other often in the future.”

Wh- Oh, right. Nightmares. Willow sighed. “Hopefully not too much.”

“Indeed. Come, stallions, stand beside me. Starlight Glimmer, I have heard that you will assist in conducting for the Queen — please do your country honor.”
❃and in time, and in time, we will all be stars❃

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Northwest Slobovia
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Anarchy

Postby Northwest Slobovia » Sat May 08, 2021 6:37 pm

Hades

Giovenith wrote:"Starlight Glimmer, I have heard that you will assist in conducting for the Queen — please do your country honor.”


Starlight made her way over to Kalliope, who greeted her with a hearty smile. "Welcome, Starlight Glimmer! Minos and Luna tell me you have ability as a leader of music. Let me show you how to use that ability to help Me, Luna, and all pantheons in Our ceremony." As Starlight approached the Muse, she became aware of how easily describing her friends' adventures – both new friends and old – in glowing terms would be: how bold, daring, brilliant, and graceful they'd been under incredible pressures and impossible situations! And she'd been no less than they were!

Her own courage grew, and she felt she could take on any challenge. Some challenges would just take more preparation than others, but studying and preparing were never her weaknesses.

Kalliope quickly led her through the basics of conducting, how to take the grand-scale directing gestures She would make and apply them to the smaller groups she would lead. Despite the brevity of the introduction and the complexity of the gestures and music she would direct, Starlight was confident that she could do it.
Last edited by Northwest Slobovia on Sat May 08, 2021 6:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Gollum died for your sins.
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Giovenith
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Giovenith » Sat May 08, 2021 9:24 pm

Bermeja

Sallow popped the chocolate between his teeth and zipped out the door, looking to rejoin Ms. Prism. It wasn't exactly a struggle to find her and Brit on the beach, only people there that they were. He broke off a piece of the candy bar and tossed it to his paper companion, who caught it with expert precision.

"Woo-woooo, got another one!" He flew in circles around the two. "Hiya, Brit! You sure look like you've seen better times. Maybe your new home will have a spa in it to wash up in!" He gently prodded her in the back with his hooves, ushering her along. "Let's go!"
Last edited by Giovenith on Sat May 08, 2021 9:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
❃and in time, and in time, we will all be stars❃

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Northwest Slobovia
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Founded: Sep 16, 2006
Anarchy

Postby Northwest Slobovia » Sun May 09, 2021 6:33 pm

Hades

Gabriel took a few steps forward, passed to Jesus' right side, and walked out in front of the group. Amanda suddenly realized she didn't know if they were all Christians, or whether all of God's Children were there. The archangel took his position behind a music stand – was that there before? – and simply said, "It is time." After he had everybody's attention, he added, "The Olympians have the first part. We begin in a few minutes. It'll give you your cue, but for now, just watch and listen."

With that, the group faced roughly towards the way Amanda and Domenica had come. Amanda realized that the sky above them was now pitch black, and centered above the space between the starts of the two lines of gods and worshippers was the constellation Orion, but as she'd never seen him before.

Like Nyx's Pegasus jewelry, Orion had far more stars than he did in the sky, and they sparkled far more brightly than their natural counterparts. Orion held a bow in his outstretched left arm, and his right arm was raised, as he struck a triumphant pose after hitting his target.

Amanda took a moment to open her songbook and check the first piece: choral, and relatively simple, other than it being in Aramaic. Amanda ran her eyes across the page, right to left: at least the first few measures weren't that bad: no tongue-twisters or difficult intonation. She started to flip through the songbook, and noticed a silver bookmark. She turned to that page. Oh, Jesus Christ in Heav... right in front of me: a solo! I can project, but... She raised her eyes to her god: It's been years since I've even said hello, but I'm going to need a little help with this one. Hopefully, You can hear me, because I'm going to need the Voice of Heaven. But she got no answer, neither return thought, nor word, nor gesture: Jesus was turned towards the starting point, waiting attentively with everybody else.

In the opposite line, and a bit further down, Kalliope had placed Starlight Glimmer in front of the Equestrians, directly ahead of Luna. But the Muse apparently reconsidered, and shifted her down a couple of groups, so that the range of pantheons she'd lead now included the Cloerith. An invisible spirit moved Starlight's conductor's copy of the score along with her music stand; she'd have a page turner during the performance. Despite being a bit off center, Starlight could still easily see the other Equestrians and vice versa, and she'd still be personally leading them as well as the whole section.

Quiet singing coming from somewhere near the start drew Amanda's attention that way. Female voices sang a wordless alto melody. They were singing in a old, minor mode; Sandy would doubtless know the name, since the modes' names were all Greek. In the gloom, Amanda could just barely make out two figures standing directly beneath Orion. She knew, somehow, that they were Hades and Persephone.

Orion began a slow, descending counterclockwise walk from the sky, following the path of his seasonal setting. After three steps, Amanda could just barely make out familiar, if now starry, wingtips rising from the right. Pegasus rose as Orion descended, wingbeats choreographed to match the hunter's footfalls. A smile blossomed on Amanda's face: Sandy was doing what loved before the omniverse's most important audience. Amanda stared into Pegasus' eye, hoping Sandy could see her. (Sandy was too busy keeping a nerve-wracking focus on Orion's pace, trying to precisely flap his wings in time with the giant's steps. He knew Who was watching.)

As Pegasus climbed higher into the night sky, the chorus began a sung narration. Although Hades, the Unwelcome Rescuer, had saved Persephone's young life, and given Her immortality, a crown, and half His kingdom, She longed to return to Her mother in Olympus. And with the coming of spring, it was time for that return.

The gloom gradually lightened around the King and Queen of the Underworld. They were both dressed in a Classical style, black clothing embroidered with silver, and both were crowned. The crowns appeared silvery as well, but they were iron, after the iron law the mortals must die. However, an asphodel wreath had been woven through and around Persephone's crown, giving it a gentler appearance.

The chorus briefly retold the story of the Rescue, how the infant Persephone, bound to the agricultural cycle, began to die with the first frost, and how Demeter sought a way to save Her. The Olympians proposed many things, but none of them seemed to work. Well, some of the Olympians, Amanda bitterly thought, Only five of the Big Twelve bothered to help.

Growing frantic, Demeter even turned to the kthonic gods, but for all of Hekate's sorcery, She had no cure. As Persephone seemed on her last legs, Hades realized an answer, and took Persephone to His land of undying grey flowers, where she survived and grew, but did not flourish.

Gabriel turned away from the King and Queen, faced his choir, and raised his arms, signaling that they were about to begin. Across the way, Starlight cued her section likewise.

When Pegasus reached his zenith, Hades and Persephone began a stately walk forward, and the pantheons began their parts, some singing songs that mixed praise and censure for Hades, and others singing of Persephone's yearning for mother, home, and health. As They continued Their march, the mix of songs shifted increasingly towards just those of Persephone's desires, as Hades' rescue faded from memory and importance.

Partway along Their walk, Hekate rose from the ground, and walked along Persephone's free side, holding her torches alight. A little while after that, Hades stopped, leaving the pair walking forward, and the music became hopeful, as Hekate guided Persephone back towards Olympus.

The songs now held hope and praise for the Mother of Magic, as She navigated the paths out of the Underworld. Far ahead of them, well past the half-way point on Their tiny procession, Hermes began to descend from the sky in His chariot, and led His team at a trot towards them.

The perceptive saw three things happen simultaneously: the sky began to brighten, the King of the Underworld began to fade away, and the greyish flowers of Persephone's asphodel crown began to replaced by new flowerbuds and fresh greenery. Giovenith, along with all of the immortals, began to sense a greater change was happening: the starting end of the lines was becoming unmoored from Hades, and at the far end, a new connection to Olympus was starting to form.

Amanda glanced down and found that, as expected, she was almost halfway through her songbook. But her solo was coming up alarmingly fast.
Last edited by Northwest Slobovia on Mon May 10, 2021 9:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
Gollum died for your sins.
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Monfrox
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Postby Monfrox » Sun May 09, 2021 10:41 pm

"New home?" Brit watched Sallow zip around, trying hard to remember if she knew him alongside Ms. Prism. "Ah - hey. I can walk."

She sighed and looked around. Her ALICE pack was still on the beach, having probably come off during her trip. She slung her rifle over her shoulder and grabbed the rucksack by the handle. Her fragmentation vest had writing on its back now that she was standing up. "WHITETAIL" was written in big letters near the collar and under read the message "If you are recovering my body - fuck you". Brit yawned as she trudged through the sand, looking out to the dense island foliage that loomed in the distance. Seeing it gave a chill down her spine in reflex, but she shook her head. She'd been in the Gates too long, and she knew it. It'd take a while to get used to taking it easy, but if Sallow and Ms. Prism were here, then who else might be? She didn't see anyone else come out to see her yet. Maybe they were all busy at the moment.

Brit looked at the two aforementioned paper copies and remembered what Sallow had just said. "I don't think I look that bad...do I?" She asked as she stepped up and opened the door to the hut hat was supposed to be her new home. It was quaint, really. Sparsely furnished with a few tables and chairs and a couch, but there was a bunch of memorabilia now on the walls. She almost didn't want to look at them, but noticed that there was a lot of photos from the units she ran with during her Gate trips. Marines, Army, Army Air Force, Paratroopers...everywhere from World War 2 to Panama. She stared at them a little before moving on. The fridge was packed with some good stuff, and she quickly took and killed a bottle of fresh water. There was a hammock strung up in her bedroom, but other than that it looked almost exactly like it did back in the Building. She noticed the duffel bag Gio had given her was in a workshop area, full of tools on a bench. There was also a study of some kind with a collection of books, fiction and non-fiction. Some reading material was welcome. Actually, what was more welcome was a nap. She put her ALICE pack on the floor of the bedroom and yawned again.

"Aw fuck...that last day really fucked me up. What is this place, anyway?" Brit sat in one of the chairs and took her helmet off her matted down hair, putting it on the table next to them.
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