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Recent Statuses

4 yrs ago
Busy as all hell right now. Working hard to get responses up!
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4 yrs ago
Home from vacation, should be catching up on all my roleplays over the next few days :)
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4 yrs ago
Gonna be gone camping until tomorrow evening. I'll try to keep up with things via phone, but I definitely won't have any posts up until tomorrow
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4 yrs ago
Don't read through old stuff you wrote, just don't
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4 yrs ago
Should have a post up for all my RPs today :)
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Bio



Heya! I'm Smarty and I'm just a dude who likes to write. That's really about it. I'll pretty much join anything and everything if I'm being honest, as long as it looks interesting. Don't hesitate to PM me if you wanna chat or something :) I promise I don't bite, I'm just very awkward that's all :D

Most Recent Posts



APOLLO
SEATTLE UNIVERSITY
oh sick, oh shit, oh FUCK NO, oh hell yeah



It was like someone flipped a switch.

The room fell away, and he was standing in a field, his golden crown atop his head once more. The sky was a perfect shade of blue, a hue that he hadn’t seen since the mortals began to cloud it with smoke. At first, it was just the smell, springtime and fresh air, a sweetness that was almost as perfect as the original, and then, suddenly, He was there. A masterpiece, a mortal who knew no equal in his beauty. Dark hair that teased his shoulders with it’s length, piercing eyes that enthralled you with their stare, and a face that put all other muses to shame.

He smiled, and Apollo laughed, but his laughter faltered as he looked around to see where they stood. It was too familiar. He knew this grass, this sky. The field… the breeze was picking up, and it was strong, too strong, but he’s moving now. His masterpiece is running across the field and Apollo is twisting his body, his muscles tightening and then releasing, the golden discus is soaring through the sky, jetting through the air, he can’t stop it, can’t scream out to stop running. Apollo blinks and his masterpiece is gone.

The switch is flipped again, and he’s standing in the conference room once more, his breathing labored, but his feet still planted in the same spot. His eyes scan the room as he tries to regain his bearings. They fall on Aphrodite, and Apollo was quickly reminded of why they’d all taken such great care to not offend her. That had been… less than pleasant, and it couldn’t have been longer than a few moments. What might have happened if Aphrodite lacked such restraint?

His head felt thick, as if someone had cut him open and diverted the Lethe to bathe his brain in its milky waters. He fought back against Aphrodite's waning influence, but nothing could cleanse him of those memories, resurfaced and looping through his mind. His first love, his first failure.

Still reeling from his vision of the dead, Apollo followed Aphrodite’s gaze, to the door where they’d all entered closing. The fog around his mind was parted by a sudden realization; Eros was gone. A pit formed in his stomach, and he decided right then that he and Hephaestus had never really been that close. Plus, he’d just watched one great love slip through his fingers. He couldn’t let another.

His feet carried him out the door, picking up speed as soon as he was past the threshold. He caught a glimpse of an unmistakable form rounding a corner, and he pressed on, the sun chasing desire. As he turned down the hall, he slammed into a mortal woman, knocking a stack of papers out of her hands and scattering them across the floor. He paused, stopping for a moment to mutter apologies and crouching to help collect the papers, but then Eros was out the door, fumbling with his keys.

“FUCK!”

The shout was muffled, but it still reached Apollo’s ears. “Fuck, sorry, I would help, I would, but this is a century in the making,” he said, before scrambling to his feet and bolting out to the parking lot, leaving the woman with nothing but scattered papers and a shocked expression.

Seattle’s morning chill and his recent bout of exertion brought a redness to his cheeks as he caught up to Eros, but it didn’t stop the easy smile that spread across his face. “I thought I’d at least get a goodbye this time around. Maybe a phone number, and a lunch date. A ride in that fancy car too?”






HERA
SEATTLE UNIVERSITY
benefitting from an unusual moment of clarity



Hathor’s touch brought a numbness with it, smothering the flames that had wreathed her senses just moments ago. A heavy blanket wrapped around her soul, and shielded it from pain, and Hera was vaguely aware of being led to her seat. So much of her was pain, so many parts had been broken, but for once she could see past all of the suffering. Her family were all as shocked as she was, grieving in their own ways.

Truthfully, none of them had good reason for wanting Hephaestus dead. He had been kind to them, forged their weapons and armor. The blame almost certainly lay with one of the other pantheons, seeking to usurp the Grecians’ glory, or plunge them into a civil war. Her family did not deserve her wrath. Hephaestus wouldn’t have wanted that, especially not from her. He’d always been able to forgive her, see a good that no one else saw.

The blanket was loosening its grip with every passing moment, returning Hera’s senses as she adapted to this state of being. Her thoughts became clearer, and as her face dried, her posture straightened, her breathing slowed, and her regal poise returned, albeit, with a certain lack of any earlier levity. Hathor’s words of reassurance were met with a mumbled thank you. The Queen of the Gods was not known for her gratitude, but Hera made a note to repay the Egyptian at some point. She had saved her from further embarrassment, and that deserved a proper thanks. Just not here.

Silently, she watched Ares approach, and stand behind her. His hand on her shoulder brought a certain comfort, and she placed her own hand over his, squeezing tightly. She made a vow that she would not lose this son. Her first born, her most loyal child. If no one else would stand with them, then they alone would hunt down Hephaestus’ killer, and serve them the punishment they deserved.

Suddenly, her nose was filled with the scent of the raging sky, fresh rain, an oak forest after a storm, dripping with fresh water and new life. She was reminded of stolen kisses and promises of ‘forever’ and ‘always’. For a moment she smiled, until she remembered what came after. Aphrodite couldn’t wipe memories after all.

Of course, they always sought to test her patience. First Aphrodite with her cursed mist, and then Hermes, starting awake from his nap, and shouting profane statements, soiling the air with his poorly timed jests. Anger brewed inside her, but it did not drive her to action. Hathor’s influence still kept her numb to any hurt, and Hermes’ insults did not pierce her skin.

Loki’s accusation was harsher however, and not even Hathor’s power could stop Hera from staring daggers at the trickster, an icy glare that had once been infamous throughout the Mediterranean. Before she could speak however, and silence Loki’s incessant prattle, The Morrigan saw fit to call them all to order, once more. Her words did not help Hera’s mood.

The thought of her son's body, lost and alone in the dark. Would she ever stop failing him? Grief welled up inside her, a grief she would surely be forced to submit to later, when she had emerged from this shell of protection, but now it only made her determined. She turned to Ares, beckoning for him to lean forward so that she could whisper in his ear. “Find your brother’s body before these outsiders. I don’t want them anywhere near him.”

As she finished speaking and turned around, she was greeted by her brother, somber and still reeking. He took her hand, and she made no move to shake him off. Some might attribute it to Hathor, but the truth was, Poseidon's presence was a welcome one. He understood her, in a way, and they'd already lost one today; it was reassuring to see another alive. Or at least, clinging to it. She squeezed his hand, her lips pulled into a tight line. Emotions welled up inside, but she kept them down. Words weren't needed now.






ARTEMIS
THE CONCLAVE
confused, surprised, tired of fucking surprises, longing of the highest degree, annoyed



“Hephaestus is dead and I don’t know who killed him.”
  “Hephaestus is dead and I don’t know who killed him.”


Well. That was unfortunate.

Many of them, herself included, took comfort in the knowledge that even if they were powerless, they were still unkillable. This changed everything. Questions raced through her mind, but answers eluded her, the one game she was never assured to catch. With unanswered questions came gnawing worry, but Artemis hid her fears behind a stoney mask, as pale and unwavering as the full moon. She would not show weakness here, not now.

Quietly, she watched from her seat as her family did the exact opposite. The Morrigan’s words threw the assembled gods into disarray, big shock. She was reminded of Discordia’s golden apple, the fight that had erupted afterwards, and the war that stemmed from it’s rotten seeds. Would this be the same? If it was, she knew who’s side she would have to fall on. Her own.

Amidst Hera’s shrill cries, Artemis diverted her attention to the first, and clearly forgotten, announcement. Poseidon had returned. His entrance spoke to his current state, a disheveled looking man amongst those still clinging to what remained of their former glory. She watched him as he sat by her father, both men clearly seeking penance, in their own ways. Poseidon had once represented everything she’d come to hate about her family. The lechery and the vengeance, the unyielding rage. Now, all she could see was a shell of the once mighty Earthshaker. Perhaps that wasn’t such a bad thing.

The eyes of the moon were torn away from the troubled ocean by the arrival of another surprise appearance. The Romans had long been thought dead by most of the Greeks, though Artemis had always warned Apollo that this was wishful thinking. If anyone were going to thrive as mortals, it would be the Romans. If Mars’ suit was any indication, she’d been right in that assumption.

Eros made his surprise appearance next, though at that point, Artemis hardly had the energy to be amazed. She half expected Cronus to come waltzing through next, with the rest of the Titans in tow. Her brother however, clearly disagreed. To the others, it may have been nothing, but Artemis saw the how Apollo’s gaze held on Eros, and she recognized the tell tale sign of her the sun falling hopelessly in love.

Apollo’s eyes met hers, but his concern was not with Eros anymore. It was obvious he wanted her to help them soothe the raging bull that was Ares, but she had no desire to step into that mess. Luckily for him, Hathor stepped in, calming Ares before moving on to Hera. She watched, impressed as the rage left Hera’s face, replaced by a numbness, as if she had shut off. Her lips moved slowly, mumbling something that Artemis couldn’t make out.

It was the scent of pine that hit her first, pine followed by smoldering wood and the musk of wild animals. She closed her eyes, and he was there, smiling at her, bow in hand, as beautiful as the day she’d sent him into the heavens. He’s gone. This is just Aphrodite’s trick.

She knew it to be true, but still, she kept her eyes closed for a moment longer, inhaling deeply, as if she could somehow keep his scent somewhere deep inside. He hadn’t been her only love, but the first, and the truest. The only one who’d been able to match her, the only one who’d been her equal. All of it, I do with you in mind.

When Artemis opened her eyes, the scent was fading, and her heart had begun to ache with a longing she’d thought was buried centuries ago. Sick of this Conclave, sick of her family’s short sighted quarrelling, she might’ve left if Aphrodite’s words hadn’t stirred a memory.

A few months ago, Zoe had brought her an article detailing the Colossus’ purchase by a historical society. The article had been taken down quickly, but the printout remained in a desk in Artemis’ room, a piece of the puzzle she was putting together. Could a group of historians be responsible for the murder of a god? She found it unlikely, but regardless, it was worth looking into.

Determined, she added her voice to the chorus demanding the only thing that mattered. Answers.

“I’m sure she’s fairly certain, or she wouldn’t have called us all here,” she said, fixing The Morrigan with a look like she was daring her to announce that this was all a big misunderstanding. Artemis was sick of these constant surprises and interruptions. A piece had been taken off the chessboard, and she couldn’t leave without knowing everything. “Hathor’s right, Hephaestus wouldn’t want any of this. Say what you have to say, Morrigan, so we can put an end to the free entertainment.”








Location | PARTAAAAAAAY





Bradley Barron stood in front of his mirror and dramatically tore another shirt off of his body, throwing it into a pile of fellow rejects. He shook his head and flopped onto his bed, face down. His exasperation was muffled by his pillows, but it was just as cathartic. He’d been trying to get ready for this party for what felt like hours. Nothing he put on felt right, nothing looked good enough. He should just stay in, listen to the thumping of the music through his door, and pretend like it had been the best night of his life.

Except he’d told Wes he’d come, and therein lay his dilemma. You’re being ridiculous. Get over it. Get over it. GET OVER IT Bradley lay still for a few minutes, trapped in a labyrinth of his own creation, until he finally decided to tune out of his ongoing saga of self-loathing. He forced himself to roll over and get up. At least if he went to the party, he could get drunk, and forget all of this. He wasn’t sure alcohol actually worked that way, considering he’d never had the stuff, but hidden deep in his subconscious, a small voice assured him he was correct.

Minutes passed and finally, Bradley settled on a simple outfit, nothing too showy, but something that made him feel like he was putting in some effort. If he listened closely, he could hear the thump of music coming from downstairs, soundwaves slipping out an open window and into his room.

He took a deep breath, and headed out into the hallway, catching the elevator just as a few of his classmates were headed down. Short skirts and way more makeup than usual made it pretty obvious that they were off to the party as well, and he wondered if Erica was prepared for the whole school to show up. He smiled softly to himself at the thought of Erica’s face when she saw the common room filled with strange bodies.

The party wasn’t in full swing quite yet, but people had begun to arrive, and they were helping themselves to alcohol and the dance floor. The music was even louder down here, and coupled with the shouts of party-goers, it was damn near impossible to hear yourself drink. The weight of everyone’s presence seemed to close in around him, and Bradley beelined for the alcohol. He was able to wrap his fingers around a half-empty bottle of vodka, and after examining it for a brief second, he poured some into an empty cup, and chugged.

The vodka tasted like hand sanitizer smelled, and his body fought him as it went down his throat. Nevertheless, he kept it down, grimacing as he looked around for a familiar face. He was out of his element here, surrounded by people he barely knew. He took another shot, just to ease the weight of their stares, and a third just for safety. Each time it got easier, and Brad was beginning to wonder what all the fuss was about. He felt like he’d been drinking for years.

Wes and Griff still weren’t here, but that was beginning to seem like less and less of a problem, as alcohol warmed his body and clouded his senses. The music, egregious a moment ago, was seeping into his muscles, and he found himself tapping his foot to the rhythm while he poured himself a mixed drink. He smiled softly. What could possibly go wrong?


PAN
SYRINX HQ → PAN’S MANSION
casually hating mortals, casually hating gods, dancing like a weirdo, intrigued



Pan looked down at the city of Seattle from his vantage point on the 60th floor of the Syrinx offices and shook his head. Once, this had been a forest, bountiful and overflowing with life. Now, it was a concrete abomination, granted, still overflowing with life, though it was the lowest form. Mortals, running amok, going about their days with a destructive sense of entitlement. They took and took and took, never thinking past the instant gratification of their basest desires.

“Mr. Oakley?,”

Perfect. There was one now.

“Mr… Salvius’ called and asked to reschedule your meeting for one thirty, at Altura. You didn’t have anything on your schedule, so I penciled him in.” The words belonged to Kelly Jackson, the new secretary. She was an unimpressive creature, petit and plain, another face that would wither away in the blink of an eye.

Peter Oakley spun around, a grin on his face. “Thank you, Kelly, that sounds wonderful. Are you having a good morning?” Kelly grinned, and then nodded. “That’s fucking perfect, Kelly!” Peter was effortlessly cool, comfortable in any situation. Eccentric, in a way that was entrancing. He had none of Pan’s misanthropy, and all of his confidence, a walk that said he was the most important person in any room. It was obvious from the way Kelly stood that she was unnerved by his duality, the way he could go from a tranquil river to a rushing rapid in no time at all. “Do me a favor and call downstairs, let Billy know to pull the car around.” Kelly nodded and slipped out of the office.

There was nothing particularly wrong with the girl, in fact, she was really quite sweet. They all were quite sweet, for a time. Some lasted longer than others, but at their core, humans did not create; they manipulated things, changed them, but true creation was beyond their inferior souls. They weaponized everything they’d been granted and that included their very beings. Could they be blamed though? Their role models hadn’t exactly been perfect.

Maybe that's why he’d skipped the Conclave. Of course, Peter Oakley had actual business to attend to, but that could always be moved around. Pan had made a very conscious choice to be absent today. A part of him blamed the others for their current predicament. If Zeus and Poseidon and Hera had kept their pride in check and their anger manageable, they might still be sipping nectar on Mount Olympus, and his forests might never have felt the anguish that now engulfs them.

If Pan had learned anything though, it was that blame could be passed along endlessly, never moving anything forward. Action is what drove the world forward, and years of inaction had led him to this precarious position. His meeting with Marcus Salvius was born from that desire for progress and change. If he kept going at it like a Greek, then he would be no better off than they were now.




Pan’s home was an impressive combination of the natural and industrial worlds. Most of the concrete exterior was covered by ivy and shrubbery, towering redwoods lined the edge of the land, and loomed over the home. Fine, sanded wood accented the mansion, little insertions of life to break up the rigidness of the concrete. The god of nature basked in the cold, Seattle air for a moment, inhaling the scent of the forest that surrounded his home, before stepping through the front door.

The interior was as eclectic as it’s owner, filled with art of various styles and cultures, a variety of small trees and plants lining the halls. The outside world had flooded in, nature’s energy pulsing throughout the house. Windows sat open, and the occasional bird flew in and out, sometimes perching on the sill and chirping a tune. The home was welcoming, but orderly and clean, almost like it was ready for an open house. In truth, Pan rarely lounged around his house. He came here to sleep, and shower, to eat. He didn’t allot time for leisure anymore, but if he did, he would have spent it outside, roaming.

Pan’s bedroom was the only spot in the house that showed signs of a resident. The bed was a mess of dark sheets, and the closet was slightly ajar, granting a peek at the many outfits that hung within. The far wall was filled with photos and sketches of his fellow gods, those he’d been able to find at least. Some of the photos were clearly older, developed in the time of dark rooms, and a few of the sketches had yellowed and torn with age. His fellow Greeks were all portrayed, in some form or another, as were a few deities from their rival pantheons.

The wall of faces served little purpose, other than to keep the faces of the gods fresh in his memory. Even in the days when he’d lacked his newfound focus, he’d found it prudent to stay aware of the gods and their whereabouts. You never know when one could be used for a helping hand, after all.

Smooth as still water, Pan clapped his hands together, and music began to pour out through the walls. Alone in his room, Pan began to change out of his suit, dancing while he did so. Music was still a luxury that he treasured, and dancing would always be the purest way to experience it. His movements weren’t especially flashy, but there was an energy of freedom that he exuded, a sense that this was his truest self.

By the time the song had finished, Pan was wearing a new outfit, one he felt was more fitting for a lunchtime meeting. The suits were more for Peter Oakley’s benefit than Pan’s. They lended him an air of formality that came in handy when dealing with arrogant men. He knew enough about Mars to understand that he was not prone to undue arrogance. His reaching out was proof enough that Pan had something that he wanted, and thus he had the upper hand. The real question was, what exactly did Mars want?


APOLLO
SEATTLE UNIVERSITY
freaked out, kinda turned on and trying not get shot



The Conclave devolved into chaos faster than a frat party with a severely fucked girls to guys ratio. He had a moment, the briefest of silences, to mull over what this meant. One of their own was dead, murdered if this meeting was anything to go off. The Morrigan wouldn’t call this meeting if she suspected that his fellow Olympian had committed suicide by Colossus. The realization left a pit in his stomach, a fear that had been put to rest by numerous run-ins with death, awoken once again.

Quickly, he turned his head and met Artemis’ gaze. For once, she looked as surprised as him, and the meeting of their eyes was a conversation of its own, a communion between two beings that had always been intertwined. For all her secrets and plans, Artemis was scared, and Apollo recognized the look in her.

Per usual, Hera quickly found a way to make it all about her. He was rolling his eyes at her performance when she launched into her accusations, catching him off guard. He raised his hands in a show of innocence, but before he could open his mouth to defend himself, she’d moved on to Herc, and then to Zeus. A sigh of relief rushed past his lips as Athena stepped in, always the voice of reason. He was pretty sure this couldn’t have gone any worse.

And then Ares pulled out a gun.

“Tartarus’ balls, dude!” Apollo stepped back, graceful even when caught off guard. He looked up and saw Mars, and if he hadn’t been having the most chaotic morning of the last thirty years, he might have been surprised. Between Poseidon’s return however, and Hephaestus’ death, Apollo had started to roll with the punches. Honestly, at this point, how could anything get more confusing?

The Fates saw this challenge, and laughed.

The conference room door opened, and time slowed as Eros walked in. Confusion and desire came to blows inside his head and his breath hitched, trapped inside his chest. Memories flashed before his eyes, lust filled nights and twisted sheets, and as they did, he grinned, granting his face it’s famous radiance. Hephaestus was dead, but Eros was alive and well and winking at him.

He had half a mind to bolt, dragging Eros behind him. They had a century of lost time to make up, a century to catch up on, and if that wink meant anything, Apollo hadn’t been the only one thinking about their nights together. As sweet as that sounded though, he was here now, and he couldn’t exactly run out while his family was on the verge of civil war. Sure, that was just another Tuesday, but still. Responsibilities, and all that jazz Artemis liked to drone on about. He’d waited a hundred years, and as much as it pained him, he could wait just a little more.

Pushing visions of tangled forms and passionate whispers from his thoughts, Apollo met Eros’ wink with a smirk and a slight nod, before joining him in his attempt to defuse Ares. “Ares, come on. All that gun is gonna do is put us all in an uncomfortable position. You wanna kill Shango, the alleys he sleeps in are usually empty,” Apollo said. His words possessed a certain calmness, a lullaby almost. He glanced back at Artemis, silently requesting her assistance, but she remained seated, offering him only an uncaring shrug. Typical.





HERA
SEATTLE UNIVERSITY
righteously pissed off, spiraling fast



“Hephaestus is dead and I don’t know who killed him.”

The Morrigan’s words were met with a stunned silence, a silence that was broken by an unearthly wail, a cry of unholy pain. Hera’s mouth gaped and she clutched her chest, gasping for air as the sentence echoed through her mind.

She heard the words, but couldn’t comprehend them. Her baby? Dead? The boy who’d risen to all her challenges, the boy who’d proved her wrong? He had survived a fall from Mount Olympus, he’d survived the Colossus, how could this be true? And what about her? What would she do? What was a mother who couldn’t protect her children?

She could feel their eyes on her, watching her every move, taunting her. One of them did this, but the others relished in her pain. Their laughs were silent but they still rang out clear in her ears, spurring her towards anger. She would not be laughed at while her son lay dead, she would not let some cowardly murderer embarrass her.

“Which one of you?! Which one of you did this?!” Hera stood up, knocking her chair back as she did. In mere seconds she had become a raging storm, thundering with an anger that only a mother knows. Her eyes landed on Apollo, and accusations began to fly. “Was it you? You and that bitch sister? Do you think I don’t remember Niobe?”

Apollo stood, silent, a mask of shock on his face. Out of the corner of her eye, she caught sight of Hercules, hiding behind the Egyptian whores. Her fury shifted targets. She pointed at him, and continued her verbal onslaught. “Or you? Did you help him? I know you’re not smart enough to do it on your own!”

Hera was certain that nothing would quench the fire that had begun to consume her. Her child was dead, a child she’d born herself. She’d failed him. She’d failed him all his life, and now, she’d failed him for a final time. These flames were the price she’d pay.

“You’re awfully quiet husband,” Hera said, spinning on her heel to look at Zeus, still stinking of Poseidon’s vomit. The poise that she’d exhibited upon her entrance had fully gone. She was unhinged, jetting from target to target, running down a long list of potential foes. Each time a prime suspect entered her thoughts, another jumped to take his place. “Maybe you put them up to it? They’ve always been your favorite sons, haven’t they? My son is dead, one of your own is dead and you’re sitting there wiping vomit off your shoes. Stand up, mighty king, and explain your cowardice to the audience,” she spat her words, disdain dripping from every syllable. Grief weaved a nonsensical web of conspiracy in her mind, contorting every face into a jeering mask. If Zeus wanted to take her up on her offer, Hera’s moment of insanity prevented him.

“Stand up and claim your crime, murderer. I promise, I’ll treat you with the mercy you showed my son.”






















APOLLO
CASA DE ACROPOLIS → SEATTLE UNIVERSITY
GOD OF THE SUN



Once the house had emptied and the leftover breakfast had been stowed in the fridge, Apollo piled the dirty dishes in the sink and returned to his room, in need of a shower and some clothes. Still fighting off a hangover, he stepped out of last night’s boxers and shut his door behind him. In his bathroom, he waited while the shower heated up, admiring his reflection in the mirror. Sure, he looked way better two centuries ago, but who didn’t? Herc dragging him to the gym did have it’s perks he supposed.

The sunrays that he’d summoned had disappeared behind the clouds once more by the time he’d stepped back into his room, drying himself off with a towel that had long ago surrendered to the pains of a machine wash. His room was a mess, though, he had to ask, when wasn’t it? White sheets and a down comforter were strewn across his bed, the aftermath of his night with Britney? Wait, that wasn’t right. Bethany? Bella? Eh, whatever, the mortals he slept with were hardly ever important.

It didn’t take long for Apollo to get dressed, and head out to the garage, where his car was waiting. The red, two door beauty had been a gift from Zeus, a replacement for the car he’d wrecked last year. That had been an unpleasant time for sure. He didn’t envy the mortals and the time it took them to heal.

The car was only one of many gifts he’d received since Zeus’ apology tour had started, but easily a favorite. Of course, nothing could compare to his original ride, the “Chariot of The Motherfucking Sun” as he’d taken to calling it. Alas, nothing short of a miracle was bringing his baby back to him, so good ol’ Sgt. Pepper would have to do.

He might’ve waited for CoCo, or made sure Dio and Ben weren't passed out somewhere upstairs, awaiting a wake up call, but today, just for this morning, he’d like to be somewhat selfish. If he drove alone, he’d have a free seat coming back, and his dream had reminded him of somebody who he desperately hoped would make an appearance; somebody who wasn’t dead, just missing. Just missing.




Seattle University wasn’t a foreign location to Apollo. He’d graduated as Alexander Calimeris last year, with a degree in music theory, and he regularly attended frat parties here with the rest of the squad. His fifteenth music degree so far by the way, but who’s counting?

Once he parked, he took a detour, putting off the Conclave and any potential disappointment off for a few moments longer. The drive hadn’t cleared his thoughts. If anything, it had muddied them. He strolled across the quad, his eyes focused on his shoes as they charted an ambling course towards a dwindling patch of sunlight. He snapped his fingers and watched as it began to grow. Could he see that? Does he know I’m here now? Would he care?

He kicked at the grass, once, twice, a third time. Self-pity and longing, now those were some friends he hadn’t spoken with in a while. He and happiness had been doing quite alright, with some occasional parties with jealousy and rage every now and again. These two were unwelcome intruders in the sanctuary of his thoughts. All hot and bothered over a few nights, a century ago. When did I turn into Hera?

Everything had been fine, until he heard about the Conclave. The Morrigan’s summons had brought memories of the last godly reunion rushing back, and with them, a face that seemed determined to hang around his subconscious,

Apollo sighed, and did what he could to recenter himself. Closing his eyes, he began to count backwards from five, a trick Ben had taught him, inhaling and exhaling as he did, continuing past the end of his countdown, until he was back to his usual, more chill, less obsessive, state of mind. Sunbeams… lyres strumming… calm breezeeeee, okay we are good

Confident in his ability to keep his head on straight, Apollo set off towards the Conclave, each step bringing him back to his usual self. He held the door for a couple of sorority girls, and flashed them an impeccable smile, earning him a look that he recognized all too well. He grinned, now certain that he was bringing his A game to this meeting.

Throwing open the door to the conference room, Apollo made an entrance typical of the sun god. “Ladies and gentlemen, the moment you’ve all been waiting for, me!” Apollo committed to his act with a fittingly melodramatic bow. As he brought his torso back up, he blew a kiss to his sister, who only rolled her eyes. “Arty, always the critic,” he said, shaking his head.

Eyes landing on Zeus and his danishes, Apollo snatched one up and took a bite, one graceful, fluid motion. “Ooooh, thanks Pops,” he said through a mouthful of pastry. Spinning on his heel, Apollo surveyed the room, realizing very quickly that the one person he’d so desperately wanted to see today, was absent. The disappointment stayed inside, his smile still as bright as his old domain.

Crossing the room, he nodded to Ares and saluted him with his free hand, before taking a seat. His sister might ignore the seating charts, but Apollo found a certain pleasure in gracing his older brother with his audacity. “So, uh, we gettin’ this little party started or what? Who the hell are we waiting for?” Apollo called out, very much aware of who the hell he was waiting for.

“Well, me, I’d hope.”

Fuck. Me



HERA
CASA DE ACROPOLIS → SEATTLE UNIVERSITY
QUEEN OF THE GODS



The first cries of a baby girl rang out, echoing off the walls of the OR. Dr. Karen Bailey smiled, though it was hidden behind her surgical mask, and cradled the just-cleaned newborn in her arms. Cooing softly, she carried her over to the mother, who reached out a hand to touch her child. Dr. Bailey leaned forward, allowing them to meet for just a moment, before handing the child off to a nurse. “Alright Emily, Dr. Han is going to finish up here, and get you ready to go hold your baby girl, okay?”

“Okay,” Emily said, her voice tired and raspy, and Karen Bailey exited the OR, scrubbing out and washing her hands before heading out into the halls of the hospital.

Emily Baker had been her last surgery of the shift, an emergency C-section at the last minute. She’d been up all night, slicing and sutchering, filling out paperwork, but the little Baker girl was the only baby she’d delivered today. Her years on earth had done little to dim the light that began to warm her everytime she aided a mother in meeting her child. It was divine, the first cries of a child as it’s soul adjusted to the cruel plane of mortals. Beautiful, the way a mother’s eyes lit up when they landed on her newborn. Of course, the warm never lasted long. It was a mercurial high, fleeting yet oh so enchanting.

Once inside her office, Dr. Bailey slipped off her lab coat, and she was Hera once more. Her short, platinum hair was disheveled, no longer the sharp, severe cut it had been when she arrived last night. The overnight shifts were unpleasant, and Hera shuddered to think about how they’d make her feel if she was truly mortal. She pushed through the exhaustion that was beginning to creep its way up her legs.

As Hera strutted out of her office, and down the hall towards the exit, her colleagues smiled and waved. Some offered kudos for some complex surgeries that had been completed since they last spoke. Dr. Bailey was a well respected OBGYN, and one of a handful who specialized in maternal-fetal surgeries. Of course her colleagues loved her, and she loved their love.

Outside, a cab pulled over for the Queen of the Gods, and saved her from the Seattle breeze tugging at her coat. “80th and Burke,” she instructed the driver, checking her watch to confirm that she wouldn’t be late to this Conclave.

Conclaves, gods, those had been something. They’d grown fewer and farther between as the years turned to decades, and the decades turned to centuries. As much as she despised most of those attending, this was an invaluable chance to get her own eyes on her fellow deities. The information that could be gathered here could prove useful, and she still needed to talk to Hephaestus about some funding for the hospital. His mortal alias was the newest mayor of Seattle, and he’d promised her more money from the budget would be directed to the hospital. Figures, once she actually needs his help, he turns off his phone.

No matter. She’d certainly see her youngest son in a little less than an hour, and she already knew Ares was attending. In an effort to keep her sanity in check, Hera made a very pointed effort to avoid any and all thoughts of who else might be there. Ares (and Hephaestus) held the most important place in her heart, and that was why she was going today. To be a good mother. Or at least, that’s what she told herself.




Forty-five minutes later, Hera sat in the back of a different taxi, heading for Seattle University. Of course The Morrigan couldn’t have splurged for somewhere a little less… dingy. Maybe she should start arranging these meetings? Hera had always had an eye for party planning after all.

The pantsuit she’d put on at her apartment hugged her frame tightly but, not uncomfortably so. There was no way she would have shown up right after her shift, clad in sneakers and scrubs. Hera insisted on making an entrance, especially at big gatherings like this, and everyone knew the first step to a killer entrance was a gorgeous outfit.

Casually ignoring a No Smoking sign that was plastered on the window, Hera pulled out a cigarette and set it alight, rolling down her window and exhaling the nicotine laced smoke out into the city. The taxi driver glared at her in the rearview mirror, but he didn’t say much else. The aura of authority that she exuded was evident to mortals as well as gods. This was not a woman to be trifled with.

By the time she’d burned the cigarette down to it’s filter, she’d paid her driver and was standing outside, leaning against a stone pillar. Mortals who passed her gave her curious looks. Who was this woman, dressed in pink, a lost member of the royal family choking down a cheap cigarette? The smoking was a guilty pleasure, truly. Most everything she owned was absurdly expensive, the highest quality items for the highest quality goddess. When it came to cigarettes though, she’d developed a taste for the cheaper ones, thanks to her last husband.

Flicking the remains to the ground, Hera brought the toe of her shoe down, smothering the embers between her foot and the concrete. Show time.

Now, Hera had found that, while a gorgeous outfit can really make for a killer entrance, a perfect setup makes a more memorable one, and Apollo really did tee her up perfectly, though she was sure he didn’t mean to.

“So, uh, we gettin’ this little party started or what? Who the hell are we waiting for?”

“Well, me, I’d hope,” Hera replied, her voice haughty and full of a self-importance that put most gods to shame. Heads turned as she made her presence known, mostly staring daggers at her. She smiled, as if the hatred of others fueled her. In some ways, it did. “I know everyone was just dying to see me after all, sorry I’m a little late. I had the busiest night, and ugh! Surgery is hard fucking work.” Hera let out an exasperated groan, reveling in the uncomfortable silence she’d created. She waved at Ares, beaming at her baby boy, but didn’t get up to get closer to him. Antagonizing Apollo was more fun if it was a slow burn. As she scanned the room her eyes caught Zeus’ and they narrowed and she glanced away, the first genuine reaction she’d had since arriving. She found a table on her own, and took a seat, hopeful that her former husband had learned his place.


ARTEMIS
MOON RIVER RETREAT → CASA DE ACROPOLIS → SEATTLE UNIVERSITY
GODDESS OF THE MOON



At Moon River, everyone rose with the sun, and Artemis had never exempted herself from this rule. Today, like most days, as the dim, golden haze of a Seattle sunrise creeped over the horizon, Artemis was exiting the large, two-story, bracket shaped compound that housed her and her followers. The Main House, as it was officially known, also provided a workspace to make the crafts and charms that served as one of many sources of income. It was a humble building, mostly made of wood and glass. Through the large, floor to ceiling windows, she could just barely see her Maidens, draped in flowing white gowns passing by.

The Maidens were the lifeforce of Moon River, the followers that Artemis had deemed trustworthy and useful enough to stay at Moon River year round. They kept the retreat afloat with their work, and a lucky few were even made personal assistants to Artemis. Those girls knew the truth of her identity, and had been sworn to keep it a secret. Those who didn’t, learned a great deal about why Artemis had been so feared, once upon a time.

To the right of the compound, two identical, circular buildings stood, similar in design to the main building, though the windows were smaller and less numerous. These were where the guests stayed, cozied up in bunks. Away from modern material needs, they spent two weeks here learning to reconnect with nature, and themselves. At least, that’s what Selena O’Ryan told them. In truth, Artemis had come to believe that most mortals weren’t cut out for that way of life, and nothing she could do would solve the problems they were facing.

That didn’t stop her from taking their money though, and doing what she could. Mortals were foolish, fickle creatures, often hell bent on self sabotage, but she’d also seen the compassion they were capable of. They were flawed, but they were getting better, slowly, but surely. She watched as Thalia, one of her Maidens, gathered the women who’d come to stay, and led them towards the river, and out of sight.

Across from the guest quarters, to the left of the Main House was a large greenhouse. Here, the staff that remained year round as well as the guests, grew and harvested the food that kept Moon River fed. Another greenhouse could be spied, if you knew just where to look, off through the trees. There, cannabis was being harvested and packaged, to be sent to dispensaries in the city. Once, her people had used the plant for medicine, and it seemed that the mortals were finally coming around to it’s uses again. That particular greenhouse had been kept under much harsher security, since Apollo had spirited away with more than enough to keep one of his dumb parties soaring.

Artemis took a deep breath, smiling softly as the early morning air filled her with a pleasant sense of energy. Out here, in the forests, she was home. The cities that men had built were loathsome to her. She would be in the thick of Seattle today, for the Conclave, a sickening thought. She might need to make a stop at Tessie’s afterwards.

The Conclave was not her priority right now, however. She had her Maidens to check in on, guests to speak with, a life to lead, and hopefully later, a little bird to check in with. Selena O’Ryan began her day, unbothered by the cold air that pricked her skin.




Many hours later, Artemis sat in the back of a white Lexus, her face hidden behind tinted windows. She’d exchanged the simple, white drapings of Moon River for an outfit more fitting for the Conclave. In her hands was a worn copy of The Awakening by Kate Chopin. In the front seat, one of the Moon River girls sat behind the wheel, dressed in a suit befitting Artemis’ personal driver. Artemis closed the book as the back driver side door opened, and a slender, blonde woman folded herself into the car. Her face was smudged with makeup, and her hair tousled, as if she’d just been in bed. Zoe Holliday.

Zoe was a Maiden, a girl from Seattle that had started up with Moon River shortly after it opened. In her time as a lower level staff member, she’d proven herself resourceful, self-reliant, and above all else, devoted. Once she was brought into the fold, she quickly made herself an invaluable asset for Artemis’ off-site jobs.

“Tell me, I didn’t just waste my time,” Artemis said, slowly and methodically opening a leather purse that rested at her feet, and stowing her book inside.

“I came late, like you said to, and wore that flower you gave me. Worked like a charm. He came over, asked me to dance, and when things started winding down, I asked him to show me his room, and he did, and then after, we had a few more drinks, I asked him why he looked so familiar-”

Artemis rolled her eyes and cut in. “Zoe, you’ll write a full report for me once you’re back at Moon River. Right now, I’m going to the Conclave, and I’d like to know something about what I’m walking into,” she said, her voice terse.

“If you’d let me finish, you’d know that he knows nothing. Just like I told you he would. Thalia did this same thing last year when you thought he might’ve found the Colossus, but his ‘big discovery’ was just a stash of drugs that he’d lost. Your brother is an idiot, and if anyone knows something, it’s certainly not him.” Zoe’s tone matched Artemis’ in coolness.

Artemis sat silently for a moment. Zoe was right of course, and she’d voiced these same opinions last night, though more politely. It was Artemis who hadn’t listened, and that was the only reason why she wasn’t making plans to bury another body in the forest. Finally, she nodded. “As always Zoe, your work is appreciated, even if your tone isn’t. I guess I’ll just have to find out with everyone else.” She sighed, but did not let the annoyance with her failure overwhelm her precious calm. Her plan had been a long shot anyways. She tapped the back of her driver’s shoulder, and the Lexus began pulling away.




As her car pulled up to a curb at the edge of Seattle University’s campus, Artemis met her driver’s eyes in the rearview mirror. “Take her home, and then see what you can do there. I’ll call you if I need anything,” she instructed, before stepping out of the car, leaving Zoe to catch up on lost sleep in the backseat.

As she walked across campus, many students turned their heads, and a brave few stopped her for pictures. Artemis was annoyed by the interruption, already perturbed by the hustle and bustle of the city, but Selena O’Ryan could not afford to be annoyed. Her brand was built on her image as a kind, motherly soul. She smiled, and took the pictures.

After escaping the clutches of another fan, Artemis entered one of the main university buildings, and found their meeting place. A dingy conference room. Nice.

She eyed the current faces in the room. She gave a wave to Kore and Hypnos, but upon seeing that she was seated next to Ares, again, she quickly turned to Parvati, and headed to her table. The Morrigan really needed to stop making seating charts if she was gonna keep inviting the Greeks. Taking a seat she gave her friend a smile. “You’d think she’d have figured out by now that I don’t sit next to Ares.”

Talking with: @NeoAJ
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