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PG-16 Not Accepting Labyrinth [IC]

Robyn

The Phoenix
Staff member
Day -2

Andrina bent over the books in the library. She spent so much time in the library lately, she should’ve brought a pillow. Andi told herself, not for the first time, it was necessary if she wanted that doctorate. When applying, she’d not imagined herself spending day after day in the library once working on her dissertation. Andi yawned and sourly thought she should’ve known better. This was, after all, commonly known as leg work. She wasn’t Indiana Jones. Although maybe she could dress as Indiana Jane for Halloween this year. She rolled her eyes at her own thought.
Turning her attention back to the research for her dissertation, Andi turned on the light right above the desk. With winter approaching, the sun set earlier and earlier. Tonight was no different. Her mind wandered as she thought about Christmas. She couldn’t wait to go back home and eat home-made meals.

She looked up when somebody blocked her lighting.
“Hello, Andrina,” a youthful guy said, “Or do you prefer Andi?”
He plopped down in the chair across the table and looked at student with a smile. Like they were old friends. Andi noticed how genuine and easy the gesture came to the man.
He wasn’t the kind of person you forgot. Handsome with his brown curls, brown eyes and charming smile. There was something… quirky about him, something adorkable. Andi couldn’t link him to any of her classes or lectures, but then again, lecture halls were busy. While she recognized most at least by face, this guy didn’t even have that much going for him. He, on the other hand, seemed to know here.
“I’m sorry, I’m drawing a blank… how do we know each other again?” she said with an apologetic smile.

“We don’t know each other. I know you and you know of me. My name is Hermes. Yes, after the amazingly dashing Greek God. Herald and messenger of the gods, patron of poetry. The list goes on. How’s the dissertation coming along?”
He extended his hand for her to shake. Andi took it after some hesitation. She didn’t bother repeating her own name as he obviously already knew it.
“Nice to meet you, Hermes-after-the-amazingly-dashing-greek-god.”

He grinned and shook his head, “That’s cute.”

Andi smiled, “How can I help you? I do have research to do...”

“You want to help me?” he asked. His eyes twinkled.

Andi leaned back in her chair and gauged this strange guy across the table. Her eyes narrowed for a moment as she contemplated the question. Something in the way he posed his question told her to tread carefully, his tone of voice implied there was a question behind the question.
She cleared her throat and knitted her brows as she crossed her arms over her chest.
“That depends…on what you require help with...”

Hermes leaned forward, smiling mischievously. His arms leaned on the table and stretched his hand. When Andi didn’t really respond other than visibly asking herself what he was up to, he motioned for her to come closer. Whatever this guy wanted, Andi found herself intrigued. The student couldn’t help but lean in.
His voice dropped to a quiet whisper, “Give me your hand.”

“Why?” she whispered back.

“I’ll tell you what I need help with if you do.”

“What does my hand have to do with that?”

Hermes shook his head, still grinning like a kid in a candy store.
“You love taking chances in life, Andrina Grant, don’t get cautious now. Take the chance and find out. You can always so no, right?”

Andi hesitated for a moment longer before holding up her hand. What could he possibly do? They were in a library, and despite the late hours, there were still people around. She wasn’t the only one doing research, or studying. Hermes didn’t take his eyes of Andi as he took her hand.
“Let’s go,” he said.
Before Andi could ask where they were going, or why or protest verbally, darkness overcame her. She felt as if she was being pushed through a tube, that she would soon be crushed to death. She couldn’t see what what was going on. Unable to move or see, Andi felt slight panic bubble up inside her.
Before she could get further than the panic, the feeling of being crushed disappeared and she felt hard rock beneath her as she fell on her butt.

“Sorry about that,” Hermes apologized, “Landing’s always a bit rough in these parts.”

Andi blinked a few times to adjust to the new scene. The light had changed. Why had the light changed? Why did her hands feel like they were on solid rock? Looking down, she noticed it was because they were on solid rock… Why was she sitting on solid rock? She was in a library. Studying. Reading reports. Taking notes. Lots and lots of notes. She moved to stand up. She groaned as a dizzy spell overcame her and the student rubbed her eyes to help it pass.
“Who’s next?”

“You know who’s next.”

Andi’s head whipped towards the voice, and her eyes went wide. Hermes disappeared right in front of them and the realization that she had physically left the library hit her. It had finally happened, she’d gone insane. Mental. Completely bonkers.
Yet, a very simple question rolled from her tongue, “Who the hell are you, and where the hell am I?”

“Andrina Grant, you of all people know precisely who I am.”
The eyes looking down on Andi were piercing the young woman. The student couldn’t look away, and couldn’t say anything either. Frozen in place, she tried to process what had just transpired. What was transpiring. The first name that popped into Andi’s mind couldn’t possibly be true.

“Athene? You want me to believe you’re actually Athene? Goddess of craftmanship, warfare... ”
Andi still attempted to wrap her mind around the impossible.

Eventually she put her fingers on the bridge of her nose and closed her eyes. It was time for a deep breath. Or twenty-five. Where did one begin if they had the dubious honor of getting kidnapped by Hermes and dropped in Athene's lap. This couldn't be happening, could it? Perhaps she’d finally lost it. Best case scenario, she’d fallen asleep in the library. She couldn’t find the words.
Andi pinched her arm to check. No, she appeared wide awake.

She put her hand on her hip and raised the other one.
“Let’s pretend for a moment I believe I’m not sleeping or finally certifiable… Why am I here?”
Athene’s eyes rested on the young woman. Something akin to pity crossed the goddess’ face before a smile appeared.
“Let us wait for everybody to arrive and all will become clear.”

Andi huffed in surprised annoyance.
“You drag me over here at night, while I’m working on my dissertation and now you won’t tell me why? Unbelievable.” Andi’s jaw set in a stubborn angle even as her arms crossed over her chest. Waiting for whenever the hostess had sent for, Andi was going over everything she knew about the Greek gods and took in her surroundings. The why of the situation wouldn’t be ignored, however. If she was going to keep telling herself she shouldn’t be hospitalized she wanted to know why the hell she stood in what appeared to be the entrance of a cave with a loon who claimed to be Athene.

Walking tentatively towards the exit, she stopped at the edge. It seemed this was still daylight here. It had been dark when she left the library. As she processed this information, anger and frustration faded from the forefront of her mind. Andi looked at the green trees standing proud outside.
What was going on...
 
Last edited:

Raesins

Good people are few and far between, cherish them.
Staff member
Mariana was walking back to her apartment after her long work shift. She never really hated walking back and forth, but now that it was later in the year she knew that winter would be right around the corner. She didn't enjoy walking in the colder months, but it meant that unlike a lot of people she would get some exercise at the very least during the winter. She did really enjoy how the town would look once the snow started falling, it gets really beautiful at night when the fresh fallen snow is untouched. I better try to enjoy the walk before a few months when the snow comes.

"AH finally" she said as she made it to her favorite coffee shop, she was a big fan of the fact that most people would leave her alone while she was there. Not to mention that it has gender-less bathrooms which made her happy, nobody would question her choice of bathroom here.

She ordered her usual, a iced black coffee and grabbed a small cream package. Mariana really enjoyed putting her own cream in the coffee, it was always ascetically pleasing to watch the cream flow between the ice and down into the coffee.
She took a seat close to the back of the coffee shop, it was usually quiet there as everyone liked to sit by the windows of the shop. She then pulled a book about the Greek mythology out of her backpack, she often liked to study mythological subjects in her free time and was very excited to start on the mythology of Greece.

Mariana had been at the coffee shop for about 45 minutes now, intently focused on her book. Her coffee was empty by now and had no need for a second one. But one thing was for sure, that coffee really flowed through her as she had to go to the bathroom now.
Once she was done doing her business and had come out of the bathroom she noticed some guy was sitting at her table and reading her book. She stared at him for a moment and noticed that he had peaked above the book. What is this guy playing at she thought. It made her a little uncomfortable, but maybe he just really liked Greek mythology, either way she decided to be cautious of this guy. When she sat down the man sitting across form her put the book down on the table a spun it towards her and pointed at a picture.

"Can you believe the picture they put for me, that isn't even my best angle!" He said in a annoyed tone.

Ok now Mariana was really worried that she may be dealing with a mental case. "I don't think that is a picture of you." She looked down at the book. It was a picture of the Greek God Hermes, a trickster of a God. Maybe this man was trying to mess with her, how rude of him.

"Exactly! That is what I am saying, if they are going to show my wonderful face in this book they should choose a better angle!" He exclaimed to her.

She had to admit he did look a little like the painting in the book, maybe this dude is a mental patient who thinks they are a Greek God. "I don't think that is a painting of you, that is the Hermes the Greek God. They don't actually exist, and if they did they would have long since left."

"AH but you see my fair lady it is a painting of me though not the best one." He gestured in a fabulous manner and closed the book before plopping it in Mariana's backpack. "How would you like to learn about Greek mythology first hand?" His face showed his mischievous nature as he said that.

She grabbed her backpack and stood up. "I'm not sure what you are up to but I don't like where this is go-."

She was cut short by Hermes. "Here take my hand! I will show you that I am no bluff, what harm could a little hand holding do you?"

She looked at his hand cautiously. "I'm really sorry but I need to go." She reached out to grab her coffee cup off the table when suddenly the man took hold of her hand.

What followed next was sudden pitch black darkness, Mariana's mind began racing. "Did I faint, am I having a panic attack, or did he do something to me?" She felt an extreme amount of pressure around her. "Ok this has got to be a panic attack." As she started to see a bright light she closed her eyes shut tightly, what followed was a sense of weightlessness then sudden falling. Mariana slid across the rough rocky ground with her back back clutched tight to her chest.

The mans voice broke through her thoughts. "I'm sorry my dear, I didn't mean for such a bad landing." He held his had out for her. "What the heck dude, I am freaking out get away from me you crazy person" She slapped his had away and began rubbing her eyes. What the heck did he push her or something. She slowly opened her eyes and looked around, she found that her surroundings were mostly stone, it looked as if she was in a cave, not the coffee shop that she had been in previously.

"Its ok, the panic must have made you faint. This is a dream Mariana, you are dreaming. You just need to find out how to wake yourself." She pinched her self as hard as she could but nothing happened. "Ok now I am really freaking out." She clutched her backpack close to her chest and sat there for a moment thinking of what to do next. Her thoughts where interrupted when she heard other voices in the cave, she seen a three people near to a bright entrance to the cave. Suddenly one of them disappeared in a flash.

She sat there and stared in the direction of the other silhouettes, she couldn't bring herself to find out who they may be at the moment.
 

Izack

The Forever Tired Void
Staff member
Neither the hot coffee nor the freezing cold air of the parking lot could wake Elijah from his weariness. The day had been a long one which started with Eli being called in at 4am for an emergency quadruple bypass that took place at 6am. He wished he could have another surgeon do it, but it was an important politician whose staff had asked for Eli personally. It had taken a little over five hours to complete the procedure and, with some luck, the surgeon was able to grab a bite to eat before his next surgery was scheduled.

The rest of the day had been relatively easy. He had been assigned three other routine surgeries for the rest of the day that took no more than a couple hours each. After his last one, Eli felt the edge of exhaustion seep into him. He looked at his watch and noticed it was a bit past seven o’clock.

Hmm, Eli thought to himself, If I hurry up I should still be able to make my 8:30 dinner appointment at The Eleven. I heard the monkfish there is amazing.

With that thought now spurring him on, Elijah swiftly cleaned up and donned his standard outdoor attire; a simple suit consisting of white slacks, a white jacket, a black button-up, and a simple white tie. He threw on his heavy black coat, packed the rest of belongings into a black duffle bag, and picked up some coffee from the shared room before he left, hoping it would give him enough energy to make it to the restaurant.

When he entered the garage, Eli rummaged in his coat pockets to find his keys and proceeded to sound the car horn to locate the vehicle. As the doctor approached his jet black sedan, he noticed a man sitting on the trunk of the vehicle. The odd fellow gave Elijah a wave and a large smile as if greeting a friend he had not seen in a while.

Eli gave the brown-haired man a scowl and quickened his pace to the car. When he was close enough, Eli sternly asked, “Excuse me, sir, but what are you doing sitting on someone else’s car?”

The man gave a laugh which caused his brown curls to bounce around his head and replied, “Well, I was obviously waiting for you, Elijah, though I am sorry to catch you on such a busy day. A long procedure right at the crack of dawn on such an important figure is sure to take it out of you.”

Eli’s eyes narrowed at the man. How did he know about the bypass this morning? Not only is he a confidential patient, but also a VIP. Few staff would have access to his records. Maybe one of the politician’s staff let it slip, so this man might be working with the press and is trying to dig up some dirt for his paper, Elijah concluded.

“I apologize, but I do not talk about my patients to other people. That would violate their rights and potentially get my license revoked,” a sharp edge now made its way into the doctor’s voice, “Now get off my car before I call the police.” Eli then pulled out his phone and started to dial.

“Ok, ok, I’ll leave,” the man pleaded while putting his hands up in a non-threatening gesture as he jumped down from the back. However, there was a patch of black ice that the stranger did not seem to notice and, as his foot landed on it, the man slipped and slammed his knee into the hard asphalt of the garage. The man made a loud cry as he doubled over and clutched the spot. Eli could see that blood had begun to drip from the wound.

Great, now I have to patch up this guy before he claims that I assaulted him for trying to talk to me about my patients, Eli thought as he walked over. He kneeled down in front of him and unzipped his duffle bag. After a bit, he produced a large first aid kit as well as a bottle of antiseptic.

“Remove your hand so I can see the wound,” Eli commanded as he wet a piece of gauze with the solution. The brown-haired man did as he was told, revealing his torn pants and that cuts on his knee. Eli carefully cleaned the spot, slightly enjoying the man’s winces as he did, and then bandaged the wound up with a bit of gauze and cloth tape.

“The wound doesn’t look that bad. You should be fine in a few days,” the doctor said in a bored tone as he placed his equipment back into the bag.

“Thank you so much,” the man stated, “It was a pleasure to be treated by one of the top doctors in this state.” The stranger flashed a charming smile Eli’s way before holding out a hand.

Eli eyed him warily before standing up, brushing off some dirt that clung to his overcoat, and picked up his duffle bag. He then turned to the man and said, “Well, I did not want you going back to your paper and telling them that I had attacked you for not divulging patient information. On that note, what is your name and what paper do you work for?” Eli offered the man a hand to get up as the doctor posed his question.

“Oh, I don’t work for a paper,” the stranger chuckled as he grasped Eli’s hand, “As for my name, most people call me Hermes, the Messenger of the Gods.” As Hermes dark brown eyes met the doctor’s, Elijah felt an overwhelming darkness overtake him. It felt as if he was being crushed on every side by this unrelenting darkness. Eli was unable to respond or move in this oppressive void. A short while later, Eli felt the intense sensation pass. He slowly opened his eyes to see that he was no longer in the garage and that the man named Hermes was next to him.

“Sorry for the rough flight. Always difficult to get to this place,” Hermes explained. Eli looked at the man with amazement and started to ponder what had just transpired.

I must have been attacked by this man and a group of others I did not see. Yes. That has to be it. The crushing darkness is most likely how my mind perceived the blow to the back of the head that I must have suffered, Eli mused and nodded to himself, Then all of this must be a hallucinatory dream that I’m having due to the resulting concussion.

Elijah now ignored the brown-haired “god” and looked around the room he was in. He noticed that he was still holding his black duffle bag, and that several others, who he had never seen before, where milling about the area. Elijah decided to not engage with these new phantasms and, instead, he settled on observing where this delusion went for now.
 

Dao Ma

sorrow made you.
Florentino had been waiting. Waiting for what, he wasn't entirely sure. All he knew was that the devil in disguise had dropped him off there and told him to hang out until the others came. He had introduced himself as Hermes... like that was supposed to mean anything to him. We'll let ya in on a little secret: Florentino never took a Greek Mythology class. He schooling was lacking for most of his life. So to him, the god was nothing but a crazy weird guy that slipped him something bad.

Whatever he slipped him, it still had him pretty messed up. Florentino had no idea where he was. At least he knew which direction was up and which was down... But could he trust it?

One by one, people started to appear. The first time someone had been thrown in there with him, he jumped up and hid out of plain view. Who knew if they were deadly. Or whatever placed them there was placing dead or live bodies. Dead could have been a possibility at first. It wasn't like he hadn't dropped dead bodies off somewhere before. But... well that's for another time.

No one was talking. Everyone seemed to kind of ignore each other. Were they in a stupor or something? "So uh." Flortentino started, walking more towards the group now that he was sure they weren't dead, zombies, or going to attack for whatever reason. "He slip you somethin' too, ey?" He asked, looking over the trio. "Fuckin' trippy."
 

Robyn

The Phoenix
Staff member
Day -2

Andi watched as one person after another joined their little gang. She silently kept wondering what was going on and didn’t engage these new strangers. Part of her had always wondered if any myths or religions were true, and now it seemed she had the answer. Not that she wanted to believe this was real. Still, the air smelled clean, and like a forest. The trees outside the entrance of this cave looked real. The wind felt real. The people now with them, it all looked as real as could be.
Logic told her it wasn't, but her senses said the opposite.

One of them, an older man, was the first to talk to somebody else. Andi didn’t like the vibe of him. Not that she had a good reason to feel like this, because she didn’t know the guy, but she knew that out on the streets she would avoid him.
She shrugged at his question, “No, I wasn’t eating or drinking when I met this mental case. Though I’ll be curious to know what’s going on and why the hell we are here.”
Before she could voice any other thoughts and feelings about the situation, Hermes took the floor again, still with that huge grin on his face, “I believe we are complete.”
Andi thought he was entirely too chipper about this entire situation.

“If we are complete, maybe it’s time you explain yourself,” Andi suggested calmly. The student found herself utterly annoyed at the summonce and refusal to explain oneself. If these were divine creatures, they could at least be more courteous.
Athene didn’t acknowledge the demand but looked over the people gathered around. The motion was slow, delibate. She took them all in and made no secret of it. She wanted them to know she watched them closely, that she knew the truth. Eventually she folded her hands in front of her before she started to speak, “Thank you for coming. My name is Athene, and you already met Hermes.”

“Yes, because we had a choice,” Andi said, rolling her eyes. She crossed her arms over her chest, looking at the so called goddess, almost daring her to challenge the statement. Athene opted to ignore it both the gesture and the comment. Whether she agreed or not, whether she was upset with Andi, Athene didn't show it. Her face betrayed no emotions, thoughts or feelings.
“What do you know about the story of Theseus and the minotaur?”

The question took Andi off-guard. Out of everything, she hadn’t expected that kind of response. She wasn’t sure what she had expected and she put her fingers on the bridge of her nose for a moment. Squeezing her eyes shut for a moment, she recalled the myth readily enough. Or rather, the most common version of it. She couldn't fathom why this mattered right now, though. Andi figured arguing would lead nowhere and probably just hold everything up, she chose to answer the question.
“The shortest and best known version is that King Minos prayed to Poseidon, who sent him a white bull. He then failed to sacrifice the animal, so Poseidon instilled an insatiable lust for the animal in Minos’ wife. The woman and bull mated, and the minotaur was born. Minos put the minotaur in the so-called labyrinth and the hero Theseus killed the creature.”

“Thanks Andi, you just won me a bet. Apollo thought Mariana would get it first, I said no way.”

“Hermes, can you please stop it?”

“Of course, dear sister, I’ll just sit here and be quiet.”

The guy moved away with overly dramatic movements as he sat down on a stone, completely with the motion of locking ones lips and throwing away the key. Andi looked at him with an arched eyebrow, wondering if he was a nutcase or just childish.

“Thank you.”
Athene turned back to the people in front of her, “She is not wrong in reciting that story. That is the story that humans like to tell each other. However, it is not the truth. At least not entirely. Minos did trap the minotaur in the labyrinth but not for the reasons told, nor did Theseus kill him."
She let the words sink in and looked them all over again, gauging their reactions. Waiting patiently for them to process this information and possibly argue against it.

"It's… a myth. It's not real…"
Her statement sounded weak, even to herself. She looked around for support, despite not knowing anybody else here. Surely, this sounded as ridiculous to them as it did her. She quickly looked at the other woman, and the men, hoping to see the same confusion and disbelief reflected she felt.
Maybe the older man was correct and she was just tripping... but then again, she didn't think shared hallucinations like this were actually possible.

"Please, voice your thoughts and concerns," Athene said, to nobody in particular. The goddess thought the quicker they had everything out of the way, the quicker they could move on to why everybody was here.
 

Raesins

Good people are few and far between, cherish them.
Staff member
Mariana wasn't sure how to feel about this panic attack induced nightmare, it just seemed to real. When Hermes began to take the floor she remained wary of the man, she kept here eyes on him to make sure he wouldn't get near her.

The people around her seemed to be very strong willed people, they had a strong demeanor to them. Mariana tried to hide her emotions as she didn't want to seem weak in this weird nightmare, if she did it may take a turn for the worst. At least that is what she thought as it is her minds usual way of running things.

As Athena watch them Mariana noticed that she was very careful to hide all of her thoughts and feelings, even when one of the other people used a challenging statement. These are some truly weird people she thought. How can anyone be this capable of keeping themselves in control in this situation.

When Athena asked the question of Theseus and the Minotaur, Mariana took a moment to think about this, then proceeded to raise her hand. She had an answer to this, now she was truly convinced she had fainted. These aren't the types of questions people ask on a regular basis. But as she stood there with her hand raised, one of the other people burst out the answer to the question.

I mean how rude do you have to be to just blurt an answer... She thought.

When Hermes talked about the bet between him and Apollo Mariana gave a little chuckle. Whoever this Apollo guy was, was right. She had her hand raised until that other woman blurted an answer.

When Hermes did his extremely played out movements Mariana gave out a noticable giggle, but then proceeded to cover her mouth. How could she laughed at this crazy person who caused her so much panic.

Mariana's thoughts were all over the place, she only had one question. "How can you prove this isn't a panic induced daydream or whatever?"
 

Izack

The Forever Tired Void
Staff member
The young doctor looked around the room. He didn’t recognize any others here in the room with him, besides the odd, curly-haired man who attacked him. It must be people that I have seen on the street before. My mind is just choosing random people that I’ve seen to complete this hallucination.

The young man silently nodded to himself reassuringly. As he felt the presence of another individual walking towards the group, Eli slowly turned around and noticed an older gentleman that was not previously here. Once the man was upon the trio, he posed a question to the bunch, asking if they had been ‘slipped’ something.

Eli gave him a quizzical look. Why would my mind think that I’ve been slipped drugs? It would have been more likely that the hallucinations made up something about kidnapping or ‘getting jumped’. The doctor shook his head. No, no, no. Why am I trying to rationalize what a hallucination does? The mind doesn’t make sense when something this serious has happened. I just need to wait. Hopefully, I have been taken to a hospital and, in a few hours, will find myself in one of those white rooms. God, I hope Will is not my attending when I wake up.

Elijah chuckled at the thought just as one of the other’s decided to answer the newcomer’s question. She announced to the man that she had no idea why she was here and what was going on. Eli rolled his eyes and sighed. It’s not like I’m going to get any real answers from these delusions.

He took a quick look around the room, half listening to the other woman’s introduction of herself and the man named ‘Hermes’, and decided upon leaning against the cool, stone wall while this charade played out in his mind. As he rested against the rock, his senses was acutely aware of how real it felt. The ridges of the stone prodded his back through his winter coat as the dampness of the wall wet the back of his head. He shook his head once again, gripping the handles of his duffle bag tighter. Just a really odd dream. It must be the cement and snow that I’m currently passed out on. Ya. That must be it.

He picked his head up, now listening to the conversation taking place between blonde-haired woman and the other who called herself ‘Athene’. They were talking about some Greek myth Eli vaguely remembered studying back in college. Why the hell did my brain decide to drudge up this garbage? The young man thought, but continued to listen to the weird story unfolding before him. After the blonde-haired woman recited the story back to Athene, the so called ‘goddess’ corrected her with a different telling. After she did, Athene looked around the room at the rest of the group, as if expecting some sort of reaction to this tale.

Eli paid no attention to this pause and even scoffed at her request to voice their concerns. The brunette that had been silent this whole time, finally spoke up asking Athene why they should believe that this wasn’t a dream. In response, the young doctor sighed and muttered under his breathe, “Great fucking question. Too bad a hallucination can’t give a good answer.”
 

Dao Ma

sorrow made you.
Could no one take a joke? Guess not. One girl was super literal and the other two were just kind of blankly staring. To each their own version of state of shock, he supposed. It probably wasn't the first time he spoke to a bunch of weirdos, but the situation definitely was. They continued on, the two that brought the group here asking questions about a mythology he had very little interest in. He vaguely knew the story, and he had more concerns about the fact that the wife in the story was messing around with a cow. Oh pardon, a bull.

"'s pretty fucked up, you know." He muttered to himself while there was minimal chatter. The other guy was so far deep into thinking this was a hallucination that it made him sound a bit crazier. One of the girls was laughing from what Florentino could tell was a nervous tick. And the other girl... she was still trying to grasp the concept that these two wackjobs were insinuating that the myth is real.

"So what, we gonna go fight the minotaur now?" He turned to Anthene. "Or we gonna go in and have a casual conversation with it about why it's really in the labyrinth?" He extended his hand, gesturing to the large stone walls before them. Clearly, this was what was being led to. State of shock or not.
 

Robyn

The Phoenix
Staff member
Athene eyed them all, awaiting their respective answers. Andi seemed once again most vocal, though the others wanted to pitch in as well. Her eyes rested on Eli when he merely scoffed at what was going on. Perhaps it wasn't unexpected. They hadn't picked him for his friendly demeanour.
She hadn’t expected this to be easy and wasn’t fazed by the responses, not even Eli's. She was actually pleasantly surprised if this was the worst.

Andi huffed when Athene didn’t answer their questions. Not in a direct manner, at least. Were they getting to the point here?
“There is truth in many stories and legends,” Athene said, “If you let me, I will explain the truth of the stories and why you are here.”
Andi wondered what any of this had to do with them, though she found herself intrigued. Yet, she couldn’t get herself to ask the question that lay on the forefront of her mind. It wasn’t because she was shy, or because they were amongst supposed divinity.
No, Andi had a sinking feeling they weren’t here for tea and a good story. One question sprung to mind, one that should be obvious to anybody. The older man asked which lay on her own tongue as well. Athene turned towards him but didn’t immediately answer. She waited long enough for Andi to start wondering if she’d ever answer.
“Only if you agree.”

Athene looked them all over once again with those knowing eyes. Those piercing eyes, that seemed to look into their very souls. Andi looked right back at her, waiting for her to elaborate.
“The labyrinth seems to be failing. I would tell you why if I knew. Regardless of the reason, we must stop the Minotaur, preferably kill it altogether. We need people to go into the maze and The question then is, will you attempt what we cannot? You will be given all the tools we have at our disposal. If you agree, we wish to enhance a few of your natural skills.”

“Athene, perhaps you should get to Mariana’s question before we continue…” Hermes almost whispered.

Athene thought about that for a moment and nodded, “You’re right. There is no point in this discussion if they think is this drug induced, some weird hallucination or a dream.”
The goddess of war and wisdom contemplated their options. She soon settled on the quickest course of action, though it was a crude method. Had they time, she might try and persuade them with words or a healthy discussion. Instead, she walked between them, lightly touching each and every one of them.
“What is this supposed to clarify? I thought you were going to answer her question?”
Suspicion had crept in Andi’s voice and she watched Athene like a hawk. For a split second the student thought it was like she was floating around, not walking. Then, the thought that this made less and less sense by the minute.

Athene wasn’t answering a goddamn thing, and this touching-thing was just weird. Before Athene deigned to answer, they got their answer non-verbally. Andi grabbed her head as the pain exploded behind her eyes and cried out in pain. It felt as if pix axes were being pounded into her head. Memories and thoughts not her own flooded her mind and forced themselves upon her.
It felt like hours were passing, as she lived through eons of thoughts, ideas, memories and feelings not her own.
Her eyes watered as the pain subsided as quickly as it’d come up. From the looks of it, this hadn’t hit only her.
“Most of the information will fade soon enough. Mortal minds aren't made for this vast amount of knowledge,” Athene said, “I apologize for these crude methods, but we are in a hurry and you need to know and believe. We need your help.”

Andi wiped her eyes once she'd recovered and looked at Athene without saying anything. Part of her wondered if the goddess was sorry at all, or if this was a courtesy apology. It sure as hell sounded like one.
Still, looking over Athene, Andi saw her in a new light. For the first time, Athene’s cold and stony demeanour seemed to crack. For the first time, Andi thought she saw panic. But one message had come across loud and clear: this was not a dream.
 

Raesins

Good people are few and far between, cherish them.
Staff member
Mariana patiently waited for a response to her question, it would seem the this Athena was going to be very indirect about things. I don't get the idea of being indirect, it doesn't get anything across to people. Eventually you end up with nothing getting done and you have wasted everyone time. She thought as she kinda listened to what was going on. She was just so utterly in her own world thinking about all the ways things could be done without being quizzical about your answers. Was she testing them?

Suddenly her spacy thoughts were broken when she noticed that Athena was heading towards her. When she reached out to touch her Mariana pulled back a little cautious, but Athena seemed in concerned with Mariana's person space. It was kinda anti climatic, all she did was touch her. "Ok... Wha-? Suddenly she was cut short on what she was about to say.

A piercing pain shot through her eyes, no behind them. She fell to her knees clenching her head with her hands, her fingers clawing near her temples. She just wanted the pain to stop, during this pain she felt as if she had known someone else's life. It was like life flashing before your eyes, only it wasn't Mariana's life. Just as suddenly as it began it all ended, she had forgotten everything that she had seen, though she was pretty sure it was real and she had seen it.

She opened her eyes and pulled her hands away from her head and began wiping away the tears that had flowed in waterfalls down her face. Her hands were shaking and she could still feel a ghost of the pain that had past. This- this was very real. What the heck is going on. Why me.

Mariana looked into Athena's eyes, still shaking with fright and phantom pain behind her eyes. Her voice cam out shaky, "W- what i-s going on? Why am I here?" Her fear was screaming all through her. There is no way she could fight some terrible mythical creature, why should she.
 

Izack

The Forever Tired Void
Staff member
Eli watched as Athene walked around the room, touching some of the other people before she got to him. Though his rational mind told the man that there was nothing this hallucination could do to him, subconsciously Eli stood up a bit straighter and tried to edge away from the woman as she reached out. His egress was stopped by the wall that his back was against. The doctor scoffed at the Goddess as she reached out and touched his hand that was holding his duffel bag.

"What do you think your doi-," Eli started to demand but felt a surge of pain in his head which cut his question short. Spots of light and color blurred his vision as a flood of memories and feelings rushed through the young man. He dropped the duffel bag and clutched his head with both hands, as his body leaned against the cold wall of the cavern for support. The thoughts of another person’s life flowed through him and tears began to well in his eyes; partly from the pain and partly from the overwhelming emotions.

Then as quickly as the came, the memories stopped and slowly started to fade away. Eli let out a gasp as he realized he had been holding his breath through the stressful experience. The man slowly drew in air as he wiped away the tears from his eyes. As he straightened back up and his vision returned to normal, Eli came to a realization: This was not a dream or a hallucination.

The thought stunned the man and took him a few minutes to process the current events in a whole different light. This whole crazy thing is real. I was seriously abducted by old Greek Gods and now asked to kill a fucking monster?! In the ancient Labyrinth!? Why would they choose a doctor of all sorts to kill a beast-man like that? This is insane!

As question after question rolled threw his mind, Eli did his best to not burst out into hysterical laughter at the bizarre situation. The man was consumed by his own musings that he didn’t notice the Goddess walk away to touch the remaining transported people.

Calm down, Eli commanded in his mind, Calm down and collect your thoughts. This is the time to gather information about this crazy proposition. Eli focused his thinking and ran back through what was discussed previously. The doctor had dismissed most of the talk before, since he believed it was just an odd creation of his mind. Now that he knew this was no hallucination, the young man re-played the questions and answers back, looking for anything to help him. It was then that Eli recalled something else from earlier in the conversation. He turned to look at Athene after she had touched the last person, composed himself, and asked the two questions that were at the forefront of his mind.

“How do you expect an average human to beat, not only a large beast-man, but who knows what else this Labyrinth contains?” He took another breath to steady himself before asking the most important question, “And what if I refuse to do so?”
 

Robyn

The Phoenix
Staff member
Athene looked at Mariana with a knowing smile and Hermes grinned at the woman.
“Mariana, you beautiful woman. You're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. Plus somebody needs to watch over these two so they won’t kill each other."
He gestured vaguely to Andi and Eli.
“And who knows what he’ll do.”
He waved over at Florentino.

“Gee, thanks,” Andrina mumbled.

“Average?” Athene smiled, “We do not consider any of you to be average. However, it’s a point well made and I already touched on this prior. While it is not something I do often, or lightly, I can share knowledge, and power. If you say yes, you will be given both. Everybody is dispositioned towards certain abilities and I will bring those to the surface.
You also have every right to refuse. I hope you don’t, but if you do… Hermes will take you home and it will be like this never happened.”

Andrina looked around to see if the others thought this was as ridiculous as she did. So many questions and concerns. So much danger that would potentially await them... Yet...
“Why, exactly, are you not waiting for the damn thing to come apart and just wait on the other side of the fence? I’m an anthropology student, not one of your Greek heroes.”

Andi looked over, she wasn’t sure what she saw in his eyes. Trepidation? Sadness? Perhaps a combination of the two. She didn’t have time to dwell on it, as Athene addressed her question.
“That is a fair point, Andrina. You have to understand, this place is specifically designed as a prison. One of its functions is to contain powers and abilities. It was hard to lock him up, and trying to fight him out here will be harder than facing him in there. We’re also not sure if his powers have grown over the decades.”

Athene smiled softly.
“I know it’s not necessarily fair what we’re asking of you. I cannot promise that you will have it easy, or even that you’ll survive. I will make it as easy as possible, by giving you knowledge, power and the required weapons. If you succeed, you will also be rewarded greatly.”

Andi huffed and tapped her foot
“That’ll do us much good if we’re dead.”
Andi thought the proposal was ridiculous. What good was money to a dead person?

Athene took a deep breath.
“I suppose you’re right. I’m more than willing to repurpose the rewards in case of death. I can imagine each of you can think of another good cause or person to collect what you couldn’t.”
Andi dropped her arms and her eyes displayed the worry she felt whirling inside. This was one emotional roller-coaster that much was certain.
"On a scale from one to ten, how bad is it? How bad would it be if it came out?"

Athene waited a few breaths. If she did so for dramatic effect, Andi didn't like it.
"We, gods who have walked this earth for eons, ask you to help us. We do not do so lightly, or without considerate thoughts. To answer your question, then... On a scale from one to ten, this would count as a solid fivehundred."
She eyed everybody individually. Perhaps she'd pushed too hard.
“What about I give you the tools i wish to give you and you take two days to get used to them? In two days, you decide if you wish to continue down this road, or return to your regular life."
Andi's cheeks turned a solid white. For the first time, the gravity of the situation really hit her. This was real. This was happening. The thread was real and Athene needed help.
 

Raesins

Good people are few and far between, cherish them.
Staff member
Mariana Blushed at the remarks that Athena had made, she wasn't used to praise. But she realized that Athena's words held a deeper meaning, it seemed she seen her as the leader of this group. "Me a leader… no way I can barely lead my own life let alone others." She thought to herself.

Mariana found herself nodding along with Andi's points, she was very perceptive of the situation and brought things to light that Mariana hadn't even thought about. At the mention of their death Mariana had gone pale, she had thought about death many times, but she had never faced the idea this closely. Them again wouldn't it be better to go through this and succeed while also not making it out alive, I mean imagine the toll this would take on a person.

As if it was all leading to this point all along her thoughts were answered, if she died the money could go to a loved one or someone who she wanted the money to go to. This did make the idea of being a part of this a whole lot more sweet of a deal.

She pondered the idea, but before she could come to a conclusion, she was given a prime option that could help her. A few days to learn what they are getting into, time to use the tools and knowledge we will be provided. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity, there is no choice but to give it a shot.

"I want to say yes to a chance to try things out, but… I have questions." She pondered on her thoughts for a moment. "What happens to us if we die? Like I guess what I'm asking, is there an afterlife?" She looked around nervously, "Sorry if that is a hard question, I just wonder if we will suffer in death." She looked up optimistically, "But I do still want to give this a chance!" There was a ferocity to her in this moment, she showed determination.
 

Izack

The Forever Tired Void
Staff member
Eli had grown tired of this conversation and the odd events that had occurred throughout it. He listened to the explanation given about why the Gods were unable to face the monster themselves and the additional questions the others proposed. He, on the other hand, did not have much to say. Truthfully, the man was at the end of his rope dealing with this situation.

The doctor half listened to Mariana ask her questions about death and what comes after, but the answer didn’t matter to him. If you died, that was it, you can’t do anything more for your life or others so what’s the point. Doesn’t matter if it was painless or you got to ride on fluffy clouds for the rest of eternity. Honestly, Eli thought to himself, that sounds worse than just being enveloped by the void and ceasing to exist.

Though Eli did not care about that part, what did intrigue him was the ‘hidden power’ portion that Athene touched upon. I wonder what kind of abilities I would wield and what I could do with them, the doctor mused, Might be worth it just to stick around for that experience.

“I’ll agree to your two days, before making a final decision,” Eli stated.
 

Robyn

The Phoenix
Staff member
Hermes smiled broadly as the first of them appeared to be on board, and the second soon followed. Now if they could get Andi and Florentino on board, his job was done. Maybe, they would all be saved. Yet, it seemed they were not out of the woods yet, as Mariana posed an interesting question.
“Perhaps Andrina wants to take a crack at answering the question?”

Andrina eyed the two, needing a moment to process the question and the fact Hermes immediately shot it her way. She wondered if this was going to be a habit of his. Yet, she couldn’t help but feel a tinge of pride for knowing the answer as fully as she did.
“Assuming what we know about the Underworld is correct, it’s a hard question to answer. It depends on how you die, as well as how you lived. Hermes delivers the souls to Charon. He, upon payment, ferries the souls over the river Acheron or Styx, depending on your source. On the other side of the river, the Judges Minos, Rhadamanthus and Aeacus wait and determine where a soul will go.”

“But what is the final destination? That is after all what she is asking. ”

Andi thought for a moment before answering.
“There is Tartarus, where Zeus sent Cronus. They are experiencing punishment for their sins. The Mourning Fields holds souls who wasted their lives on unrequited love. Then there are the Asphodel Meadows, for the ordinary people. They didn’t commit terrible crimes but neither did they achieve greatness. Those who did, would find themselves in Elysium. Provided they didn’t choose to be reborn. The ultimate goal, however, would be the Isles of the Blessed. Not the same one as from the Arthurian legends. To reach the Isle of the blessed, one would need to be reborn three times and manage to reach Elysium every time.”

“This is why we love you and why you are here. But you’re a tad misinformed, the mourning fields don’t exist. That’s mostly just a few moping dead souls in an unoccupied corner.” He turned to Mariana. “Unless you die running away like a coward, I’m going to guess Minos, Rhadamanthus and Aeacus will gladly grant you passage to Elysium. Feel free to aim for the isles, though. I’d love to see how that turns out.”

Like Eli, Andi accepted the offer to receive whatever it was Athene wanted to share. Saying yes to this didn’t mean she was stuck going inside. There was time to say no for another few days. Offering to go first, Andrina wondered what it was that Athene wanted to share with her. With any of them, really. The goddess then turned to Andi, happy to take her up on her offer to go first.
“You might want to sit down,” Athene suggested.
Taking the advice to heart, she sat down on a boulder. She felt herself get tense with anticipation as Athene stepped behind her and then the goddess' hands on her shoulders. Andi wasn't the only one who noted she was tense.
“This will be easier and more comfortable if you relax.”
Andrina took a few deep breaths and rolled her shoulders to make herself relax. It helped only marginally, so the woman told herself she'd jumped out of a plane of and off a cliff. This was surely safer... She felt Athene’s hands on her shoulders. When it hit her, it really hit her. Memories and knowledge not her own flooded into her, burning themselves in her brain first, then her body. She wasn’t sure if it was pain she felt, but the woman thought it damn uncomfortable at the very least. When the initial burning sensation started to fade, she could still feel the fire running through her veins.

When she opened her eyes, Hermes couldn't contain his excitement and squealed.
“Look how pretty she glows. It’s a strong one, isn’t it?” Hermes beamed, “What is it? Light? Fire? Heat?”
Andi didn’t answer him. She had rarely felt so overwhelmed, and wasn’t sure if she could answer him. Not to mention, the woman felt like she was shaking like a chihuahua on speed. Instead, she held out her hand and channeled her newfound ability. She startled herself as a small ball of fire popped into existence and immediately dropped it. It died mid-air but Andi was too busy being astonished with herself.
"Why is there fire coming from my hand?” Andi didn't recognize her own voice, or how shaky it was. The question itself also sounded silly and unrealistic even to herself.

“Is that not self-evident? That is the power that was lurking under the surface. I merely broke the surface.”
The small demonstration put Florentino over the edge and wanted nothing to do with them. Hermes wanted to stop him, Athene asked him to just get him home. As he popped out with Florentino in tow, Andi attempted to make sense of all the power and knowledge that was now hers.
Athene, however, would be happy to get this over with. Doing this took not only a lot from them.
“Who will be next?”
 

Raesins

Good people are few and far between, cherish them.
Staff member
Mariana stepped up to Athena, she wondered what power might be hidden in herself. After seeing Andi's power, she wasn't so sure she would have as cool of a power as she proceeded to sit on the bolder. Athena placed her hand on Mariana, the intensity of what hit her was indescribable. She felt it flow through her, these memories, these thoughts, all not her own.

When that had all stopped, Mariana took a moment, she felt different. Had it felt like she was a completely new person, wait no, not completely new. She was still herself, she felt more open, more alive! Blue was the color of her aura, could this mean water? The bolder she was sitting on began to rise below her, only slightly before falling back to the ground with a heavy thud.

Walt had been preparing spaghetti for dinner when he heard his door bell ring. He set his cooking utensils off to the side and went to the door. When he answered he found a small smiling man at his door.

"Can I help you?" He said in a gruff no nonsense tone.

"Why yes you actually can, you see I have been looking for a replacement for a job."

He began to shut the door. "I don't do that kind of work anymore."

Hermes stuck his foot in the door. "Oh no no no! You misunderstand me my good sir. This is not that kind of job."
Walt's expression became flat.
"May I come in for a moment?" Hermes asked.

Walt gave him a shove with a flat "no" after it and slammed the door.

Walt walked back to his kitchen to find Hermes at his stove sniffing at his pasta. "You dinner smells delicious, do you have enough for two?"

Walt raised an eyebrow at the man. "A fast little one aren't ya!? I guess it's a fight you want... At least now I can use the excuse that you invaded my home when they take you to the hospital." Wanted cracked his neck and began to charge Hermes.

As the two collided there was a sudden shifting feeling, it felt as if Walt was falling. There is no way this tiny guy could have pushed him over. Then it felt as if gravity was distorted. When Walt finally stopped spinning he found himself somewhere he had never seen before.
 

Izack

The Forever Tired Void
Staff member
It took most of Eli’s self control not to run ahead of the two women to see what new found powers he would receive from the Gods. Surely I will have more potential than these others, Eli thought to himself, I’ve always been very gifted when it comes to these ‘aptitude’ tests. More than likely, I will get a gift reflecting the great status and position of power that I have already achieved in my life. Something that will embody the passion that I have put into my work. A bit of jealousy rolled over Eli as he saw the woman named Andrina receive the blessing of fire.

No matter, he mused once again to himself, there are plenty of other powers that are greater than summoning fire. Maybe I’ll get something amazing like those heroes from that popular space movie franchise. I think they were called the Jodies or something? It all seemed pretty stupid, but the way they could manipulate objects was quite interesting. Having the power to control the forces of the world with one’s mind would certainly be a gift befitting someone who has already used his mind to conquer his profession.

A smug grin formed on Eli’s face as he pictured himself fight with mind and sword against the large Minotaur. However, that grin was quickly washed away as the other woman named Mariana displayed her new abilities by levitating a rock. A wave of jealousy hit the man, but he quelled it with another smug thought. Well obviously they are saving the best gift for last, Eli speculated as watched the Gods approach him. As one who brings people back from the brink of death, they must have something truly astounding in store. Eli almost audibly gasped as a grandiose idea struck him, It has to be time manipulation! I, one of the greatest new surgeons of my time, have to be given an ability like that. It only makes sense as someone who reverses the effects of what people have done to themselves or what time has brought upon them. That is truly a gift that would befit someone like me.

As Athene stood before him, Eli imagined all the spectacular ways he would be able to use his power to fight the threat waiting for the group. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes, preparing for whatever would come next. As Athene placed her hands on his shoulders, Eli felt a strange calm fall over him. It felt like when he used to go camping at the lake and swim under the waterfall. It was relaxing to feel the pressure on his shoulders, the rushing of water in his ears, the white foam of bubbles surround him, and the weightlessness as the force of the water pushed his floating body toward the shore.

When Athene drew her hands back, Eli felt cool like he had just come out of the lake. He shook his head and opened his eyes. Well that was odd, he reflected, Maybe that’s how stopping time feels like? Cool and calm. A glint of excitement shone in his eyes as the man held out his hand, reached for his new power, and prepared for time to react. However, instead of time bending to the man’s will as he expected it to, a small, round orb of water appeared floating above his hand. He gazed at it for a few seconds, dumbfounded by the scene in front of him, before speaking.

“What the fuck is this?” Eli muttered, disappointment echoing in his tone as he looked at the summoned water. The orb then broke, splashing down on his hand and the ground, as the man turned to Hermes and Athene. The disappointment in his voice turned to sarcastic anger as Eli asked, “What am I supposed to do with this? Make a self-sustained water-park for the Minotaur? Then hope that he’ll have so much fun that he’ll forget to kill us?”
 

Robyn

The Phoenix
Staff member
Andrina watched as Mariana lifted the rock. So now they had fire and telekinesis. Both were useful powers. They wouldn’t freeze to death nor go splat by anything that might fall or be hurled at them. It was soon Eli’s turn and she wished his was just as useful. Then again, she doubted they’d hand out powers and abilities that weren’t useful to them. It defeated the entire purpose.
Eli seemed displeased with his newfound abilities. As he made snide remarks about his water-powers, Andi crossed her arms over her chest and rolled her eyes, "Oh come on, you just got superpowers and you’re whining? Water powers are great. We’ll need water in there and do you know what place this element takes in a lot of religions and beliefs? The Chinese believe that people whose element is water are wise, flexible and tend to be calm.”
She threw him a pointed look. The woman didn’t get why he was complaining. For all intents and purposes, he had a superpower. Did it matter what it was?
Athene saw the situation escalate and made an attempt to defuse the situation, “Elijah, you know why this ability broke through. Who would be a better healer for this group than you?”

Athene looked at Hermes curiously when he arrived with their new guest.
“I told him nothing. He wanted to put me in the hospital so I just grabbed and popped.”
Athene decided not to comment on his ways, though she couldn’t hide the disapproval from her face. Hermes shrugged, “Should I go get the other one?”
Athene nodded and looked at Walt, “You will understand soon enough. Once he has brought our last guest we’ll explain everything.”
It didn’t take Hermes long to return with Leon, after which Athene sent Hermes to go get the group some camping gear. While he was arranging that, Athene filled in Leon and Walt. They got the same run-down and offers the others got, including the money offer.

Popping around as requested, Hermes first dropped off Walt and Leon, and some camping equipment. If they were going to stay for a few days, and then walk into the death-trap the Gods had created, they would need a place to sleep.
“If you’re done bickering over there, care to help an old man setting up camp? As long as they’re busy we might as well make ourselves useful.”
“Setting up what?”
Hermes got a twinkle in his eye as he replied, “Camp. Let’s get some team building in. Who actually knows what to do?"
Being outdoorsy, she'd gone camping on the past. She was hardly an expert but had enough skill to save herself. Though usually her trips involved the necessary friends and liquor involved. She could recall at least one night where exactly zero tents had been set up correctly. It had not been for lack of trying.
"I guess I do."
She looked around to see if she was the only one. Andi hoped not because then they were likely fucked.
 

Raesins

Good people are few and far between, cherish them.
Staff member
Mariana agreed with Andi pretty much completely, why would Elijah get upset as to what power he had gotten. She was satisfied with the power she had gotten, sure she may have like other powers better. Maybe shapeshifting, oh or the ability to turn invisible those would be really cool powers. Healing and water work really well together, it's perfect for this man. I suppose some people can't be pleased.

When Walt's head stopped spinning and he was able to see he found that he wasn't sure as to where he was. Walt attempted to grab Hermes, but before his hand could make contact he was gone. Hermes had re-apeared shortly after with another person, he wasn't sure as to what was going on. He decided it might be best to just kinda let things play out, clearly what was going on wasn't real. Maybe that little man had gotten him with some kind of drug, soon Walt would find himself in some dark warehouse with shady figures asking him questions. "I just can't be allowed to get out of this shit can I!" He began to grow frustrated.

When Hermes began to talk about setting up camp and the likes, Mariana began to think back to when she was little and her parents would take her camping. "I think I remember some of how to set up the camping stuff, but it has been a while since I have gone camping. Though I wonder how you expect us to properly camp without s'mores." Her face had a shit eating grin on it. Wonder if he even knows what s'mores even are she thought.
 

Izack

The Forever Tired Void
Staff member
Leon didn’t quite know what to say when a strange man, who introduced himself as Hermes, walked up to him and told him about a new job opportunity that only he could fill. Leon had met many crazy people on the streets of New York, but something seemed off about this man. This “Hermes” fellow didn’t have the standard disheveled look that most people Leo had helped in the past tended to display. Though this man’s clothes looked a little dirty and he seemed a bit out of breath, like he’d been running from place to place, Hermes looked like an average person.

However, I should not judge, Leo thought to himself, There are plenty of average people that have suddenly fallen on hard times these past few years. Maybe I’ll go along with him and see what his situation is. If need be, I can always see if Angela could take him in for a few sessions and set up a short stay that the center.

“Alright, Mr. Hermes, how about we have a cup of coffee and we can talk over your proposal. Does that sound like a good plan?” Leon asked while gesturing the way to a local cafe.

“That sounds like a good plan,” Hermes agreed while extending his hand to seal the deal.

Leon gave a shrug and grasped the man’s hand in a firm shake. As soon as he did, Leon felt his stomach drop as Hermes said, “Though I have a different place in mind to go to talk.”

With that, Leon felt like he was being tugged through a vacuum. He felt that his lungs had collapsed on him while the rest of his body had the sensation of being stuffed in a cupboard. Luckily, this feeling only lasted for a few seconds before he popped back out into an unfamiliar place. Leon quickly caught his breath and went into high alert, hands raised and balled into fists.

Hermes took a look at him and bowed his head, “Sorry for the rude and abrupt transport. Like I said, the position opened rather suddenly and I needed to fill it quickly. Sadly, we cannot humor you like the others and need to get you up to speed as soon as possible. However, we think that you will fit right in and the payout will be to your liking.”

Leo did not move from his stance, but a quizzical look fell over his face at the strange man’s words. “What are you goin’ on about? What just…” His questions trailed off as Athene and another man, who seemed just as confused as Leon, stepped into view.

“I’m sorry, but I’ll have to do the short version,” Athene stated as she walked towards Leon, “If that’s ok with you, let’s get started.”

----------

At both Andrina and Athene’s words, Eli gave a heavy sigh and mumbled a few words about, “Not healing for free,” before he decided to take a seat on a nearby stump. He gazed out into the distance, trying to calm himself, while ignoring the others around him. Elijah didn’t even register that two more people had arrived until Hermes spoke up about helping him make camp.

As he looked back at the group, Eli froze as he saw who Hermes picked to add to their group. Of course this day has to keep getting more annoying, thought the doctor as his eyes locked with Leon’s. He could see the surprise on Leon’s face as it finally dawned upon the old vet of who sat before him. Before Leon could give his normal, cheerful greeting, Eli discreetly shook his head at the man.

Leon let out a small sigh and slowly nodded his head once. I guess he’s still as stubborn as ever, mused the man, Well I don’t want to make anything worse, and there has to be a reason why the gods chose the both of us. They must know our history. I’ll just play it like I don’t know him and give him space.

At both Andi and Mariana’s responses, Leo grinned and chimed in saying, “I can help as well.”

He gave a nod to both of the woman and the man that showed up with him, before continuing, “Good to meet you all. I’m Leon but feel free to call me Leo. I think my name is short enough, but my co-workers decided to give me the nickname due to my hair.” He shook his mane of locks to emphasize his point.

As he chatted with the others, Leo stole another quick glance at Eli. It seemed that the doctor had gone back to daydreaming and had no intention of helping with the campsite. Leon then picked up some materials and started setting up the first tent. After he finished up the first one, Leon turned to Hermes and said, “I believe she’s right. For setting all this up, and for the abrupt kidnappings, we should at least get some s’mores.”
 
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