2011 01 17 Of Gods And Man Pt2

Log Title:
Of Gods and Man (part 2)

John Aaron, Thor, Sersi

IC Date:
Jan 18, 2011


Brief log summary::
After the encounter with Epimetheus, the man known as John Aaron is taken to Olympus and made a god once more.


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It's some minutes later that finds three figures manifesting in what may pass as the courtyard to the hallowed halls occupied by the gods themselves. While the rest of Olympus is blocked from view with a plethora of statues and artful application of a few walls, it also serves to draw the eye all the more to that place which the Olympian gods call home.
Curiously, the typically occupied courtyard is empty save for the relatively unusual visitors — one never expects an Asgardian, an Eternal, and a former-god to show up anywhere unless it's at the start of a terrible, bar-related joke. They'll have but a few moments to orient themselves within this place before they're joined by a fourth, a presence marked at first only by a supernatural breeze and the fey flutter of wings.

As they appear, John Aaron takes in the sight with wide eyes. Never had he expected to look upon these halls, these statues, these walls. He takes a moment to look around slowly, dark gaze resting upon the architecture, upon the finely crafted marble figures. He listens to the soft trickling of the many fountains, the subtle trill of the occasional bird's song.
A step is taken to the side by the formerly divine individual. He turns to face Thor and Sersi, meeting their gazes levelly. "Thank you for coming this far with me, for your aid. If you wish to depart now, I will…" He pauses as he hears that faint flutter of wings, turning to the source of the sound.

Invoking his father's power from the great hammer Mjolnir the effects of Thor's dimensional travel have the potential of being less debilitating than was the earlier spell cast by the Eternal.

As Thor emerges from one reality and into the next the spinning of the hammer above his head slows and is then taken from the air as he surveys his surroundings. With no immediate attack pending he places the weapon upon his back if only to honor some unspoken treaty between the two pantheons.

"Nay, John Aaron, I would see the home again when it is time. Thy journey is not meant to be one way.." The Asgardian says evenly as if it were his own intentions that mattered here. Then he too takes note of the fluttering and turns his gaze that way.

The Eternal seems to have recovered well enough in the duration or else she's just especially good at putting on some sort of brave face to tough it through. Arms folded, Sersi stands with her weight on one leg and her attention divided horribly between the decor of the courtyard and the two divine sorts she's accompanied by. Under other circumstances, it might be a fine start to a party. For now, though, the pensive look on her face fits poorly and it only grows for that fluttering sound. She shakes her head, answering, "You'll not be rid of me quite /that/ easily, dear. I do know how to keep my word, when I can be bothered to give it." Her head tilts to Thor, with a slight nod given to him. "Besides, Thor here /is/ our designated-" and she stops short, attention pulled by the source of the fluttering.

Another flutter is heard as another gust of wind is kicked up … and then the source all but seems to manifest from a blur. Blond and bedecked in all the regalia befitting the god of thieves and messengers, Hermes stands … well, what would have been behind Ares, but as the man turns, he's thusly placed before. "Look at what we have here," he grins, looking all too much like a cat in the cream — and then some. "Look at what the Asgardian has brought!" His grin turns positively impish, a finger wagged at John with a light, careless air. "I'm sure Zeus will be quite grateful that you've returned his wayward Dog of War. Or has he begged to come back of his own free will, I wonder."

All of the steel that had been in John Aaron's posture, all of the stern control that had been held seems to evaporate at the presence of Hermes and at the youn god's pithy words. That utter tension, that complete mastery of himself is there in an instant… and then gone.
There is no hesitation, no hint of movement. It may come as a surprise as much to his comrades as it may well come to Hermes. The sudden shift, the abrupt step forwards and blurringly fast backhand that lashes out from the former God of War straight at the messenger's jaw. No simple strike. No simple punishment. Purity of purpose and murder blazes in the man's intent as he steps forwards after Hermes.

Thor turns in an unhurried manner his wide shoulders turning to follow his gaze and no sooner does he come around than John Aaron moves with a speed that the Thundergod did not know the man could possess.

The surprise registers as a flash upon his features his eyes widening and then narrowing with scrutiny.

He does not protest the man's sudden violence nor does he reach for his own weapon. His powerful jaw sets itself and he throws a slow look to the area about them as if concerned only that they may be taken by surprise.

Nor can Sersi fault him for the attack, either. Lips pursed, arms folded still, she pushes just slightly into the air to seem all the more imposing — if only for effect. This might not be her fight, but perhaps some twinge of Ares' anger has awakened her own. The Eternal is silent for the time being, gaze tossed between the two while they sort matters out. Not yet willing to intercede unless matters escalate too far.

It's more shocking than painful to the Olympian, though his head remains turned for just a moment longer than absolutely necessary in the wake of that blow. Hermes turns his head to face John again, a half-smile rising in what he'll no doubt recognize is an attempt to veil some measure of other emotion — anger? fear? both? — even as his tone manages, by some miracle, to remain mocking.
"So, the old dog still has teeth. Will wonders never cease?" And lest he risk another assault, the wing-footed one abruptly vanishes, no doubt to make good his escape.

"Tell Zeus I am coming, Messenger!" John Aaron's voice booms, his tone of command something he hasn't given free rein since the second world war. He stalks forwards, perhaps now remembering where he is, the old memories flooding back. His stride is stern, strong as he marches forwards.
"Run and tell him that Ares strides these corridors again." The words echo off of the marble, reverberating against the walls. His fists clench tightly as he moves, and for the moment what he was about to say before to the other two with him is forgotten. All he has thought for now is reaching his father, of attaining that which he seeks.

Thor stands unmoved as Aeres's words dog the heels of the messenger. His thoughts evoke only a slow nod of admiration allowing the warlord to have several meters of space before falling into step behind him.

"Those who doth bear witness to this man know ye that thou shalt not harry his right to lay plain his grievance unto his father.." Thor heralds their progression, "..and that -all- who wouldst stand between he and Zeus shall be as an instrument of cowardice and will contend with /both/ Ares and Thor until -none- bar the way."

For the duration, all Sersi can do is loft a brow in Thor's direction — both to gauge what she can of his thoughts on the matter and to convey some sense of her own. While the Eternal isn't /bored/, per se, it would seem all of this gallivanting about with deities new and old is starting to wear on her already thin patience. Irritation rises again, irrational as it might be, and while she might not voice her thoughts so keenly … one gets the sense that if anyone /were/ to interrupt their makeshift procession, they'd suffer at her hands most spectacularly.

Venturing into the hall is another matter entirely. No less luxuriantly appointed than the courtyard, all manner of divinely crafted artwork — sculptures, tapestries, paintings, and even floral arrangements — can be found in abundance. All is marble and gold, with jeweled mosaics and light cast through stained glass to lend the affair a curiously dreamlike effect.
But this particular hall leads directly to a pair of double doors — heavy wood and intricately carved — that, in turn, lead to a vast chamber. It is a final chance for the man and his companions to rethink and, mayhap, return.
There is no break in stride. No pause at all as the small group of invaders press forward into the halls of Olympus. John Aaron passes by all of the artwork, all of the gleaming examples of utter beauty. Unmindful. It is so much detritus now and unworthy of regard. His footsteps echo as he moves past each gleaming treasure. There is no care that they might be observed from afar, tailed by the invisible godling Hermes. He approaches those double doors and then pushes flattened palms against them powerfully to slam them open and pass within.

Thor follows unabated his gaze cast grimly forward slowing only as the doors are flung ajar.

A round room greets them, with vast pillars that stretch up and up into the ether; more marble and gold, but with a curious kind of simplicity at odds with the elaborate decor outside. Steps lead down to the floor of the room, the doors opening directly opposite the gilded throne of Lord Zeus himself. At his right hand is none other than Ares, helmed and clad in all the raiment of his proper station; to his left is Hermes, who had surely slipped in mere moments after the doors were flung wide so callously.
Zeus doesn't rise from his throne, his gaze flicking from John to Thor to Sersi … only to settle on the Thunderer, rather than his wayward son or the equally wayward Eternal. "To what do I owe the honor of this visit, son of Odin?"

John Aaron draws up short, standing before those great pillars, the god his father before him… and himself. He looks between the two upon their dais, gaze lifted high. His brow furrows, rage and grief flickering over thos grim features. Then, when his father speaks, John Aaron holds his tongue. His hands clench into fists, unclench, tension rife in his form. Yet he does not interrupt, even he knows this of Zeus.

The son of Odin slows upon entering the chamber allowing one final step as John Aaron stops short such that he stands behind slightly behind the man and askew to his right side.

Then lifting his mighty chin Thor levels his gaze upon Zeus giving his father's peer a bow of respect as befits one noble visiting the court of another, "Great Zeus, Ruler of Olympus, this man I believe to be thy son and he doth bear a grievance with thee." Thor shifts slightly his gaze falling to the man and then turning to the armored warlord at Zeus's right hand as he speaks, "He requested only that I bring him to this place.." The Thunderer speaks, "..and lo he is here." A pause, "I hath continued with him only to see that he is granted the audience he sought without interference." He looks to Hermes then before his gaze finally settles again upon Zeus.

"I know him to be a man of honor and thus I stand with him as I have with thy other sons in their own times of need."

Ares stands, arms folded, and merely grunts at the presence of his mortal echo. The Ares of old, forged of righteous fury and deadly instinct; the blood-crazed and furious God of War. Restrained, for now, if just barely — no doubt at the earlier bidding of Zeus. But the look he bears for his shadow is one touched with condescension; of superiority.
Zeus stirs some, ostensibly just to get a bit more comfortable. His great brow furrows, a distinct /snort/ escaping him. "This mortal? Thou hast brought me /this/ mortal that would tempt fate by striking an Olympian?" His eyes blaze for a moment, settling for but a moment on John before renewing his focus on Thor. That moment lingers, tense and positively alive — electric, really — before his attention settles grimly on John. "All I need is but one good reason why I should not see to your end here and now. If thou has but one, 'twould be a miracle."

The man known as John Aaron glowers, the rage seething from his very eyes. There is an almost quivering tension in the tautness of his forearms, so clenched are the fists held at his sides. His eyes close for a moment as he looks down and away, his neck bulging with contained rage. Then as those words from his 'father' wash over him, his blazing red eyes open and slash back to affix the man in the throne above him with his glare.
It is then that he does the unthinkable. He advances forward, up one single solitary step upon the dais towards Zeus. A fist opens, his hand lifting up and to his chest then crushing taut back again into a clench as he slashes the air between them, almost as if grasping and throwing the elder god's words away like so much detritus.
"I grant you /nothing/, Zeus! I come here to demand!" John Aaron's features positively swirl with the manifesation of his rage, dark red and black tendrils of ephemeral energy flickering about him. "I wish to know only this! If it was you that set the Titan free. That set him upon me and mine. That… that set the shades upon my home. My son!"

Thor nods without regret his stern regard dipping at the question as if to say without apology 'Yes, I did'.

He then stands his ground and makes no move to interfere though his attention is less so on Zeus and more so upon 'Ares'. It seems the same Ares that he and Hercules have battled time and time again to defend this plane from Pluto.

To this creature Thor narrows his gaze as if suspect of its motivation.

"Madness!" Sersi finally breaks her silence to throw her hands in the air, then to drop those hands to her hips. "That's all this is, every last bit." It's enough to draw Hermes' attention briefly, as well as that of the mohawked Ares, but not so to pull Zeus' attention from his advancing spawn.

"Thou knowest well enough who deals in the dead." The elder god's countenance darkens and he does rise, slowly, from his chair. The air crackles around him, light flickering into being about his hands. "And that thou wouldst even give half a thought to come here to accuse me of such-!"
It takes a supreme effort on his part to keep his hands from balling into fists and, instead, for him to motion curtly to Ares … and to release him, in a sense, to deal with what must be dealt with. Naught but the very Dog of War that Hermes had accused /him/ of being — but such suits. The armor-clad one strides forth, his own aura a seething thing of crimson and black that spawns a round shield upon his forearm. Not even worthy of a proper weapon, this intruder. But there are a few seconds where his eyes catch and hold on Thor, a few seconds in which a grim sort of smile might be found. Knowing. Too knowing. And then gone.

"Do not act so shamed, so shocked. You are capable of such and more." There is an utter lack of apology in John Aaron's stern features. His dark red eyes blazing with rage as he looks upon his father Zeus. "The very example of your trickery stands at your side…"
And that is when the other Ares begins his descent from the dais steps, moving towards John Aaron. "This creature of yours, pantomiming, dancing to your will." And as the doppelganger draws near, John's arm shoots out, hand grasping the fully armored Ares by the throat and clenching… not able to do much more than stay the God's advance.
John's brow knits with the effort it takes to hold the creature back, his eyes slashing back towards Zeus. "If you are as innocent as you say, then turn me loose upon he who has done this. I will find the truth. Wherever it lie."

The Thunderer's features darken as misdirection is laid upon John Aaron. His stern features knot with a discontented look as the armored creature is loosed and he then shoulders back pulling Mjolnir from beneath his cloak in a motion that bears the faintest thrum of power.

Then raising the hammer he directs it at the approaching Ares and static flickers between it and the wargod, "This will not do." He says aloud as John Aaron demands a chance to hold the architect of all this accountable, "Thou hath not answered the question, noble Zeus, and I shall not allow thy minions to besiege this man until he hath been given a chance to confront that which hath wronged him.."

Thor's voice fills the hall, "Speak the name of he who hath orchestrated the attack and bring him here thusly.." A faint pause, "..if he not be already amongst us."

For Sersi, this is simultaneously surreal and … well, not nearly as bizarre as wrangling with the Host by any means. Yet, her hand is stayed — not precisely by the nature of the place, but simply in knowing that it would be a death sentence if she were to do so. Frustration and irritation remain firmly fixed on her features as a result, with a glare shot to Hermes — if for no other reason than he's /there/ and looking smug. Her hands ball into fists, a flicker of green light manifesting in her eyes. But then Thor speaks and she glances to him, the light remaining even as her expression shifts just slightly. "I wouldn't do that if I were you, dear," is hissed sidelong to her teammate. Muttered: "Lightning, thunderbolts, this is going to end /badly/."

The construct grapples with him in a sense, one hand lifting to catch at John's and then holding there. While he visibly strains to pull that hand away, there's something amiss about the magics set to work here; neither can move the other, or so it seems.
"I can grant that knowledge that ye seek," Zeus booms, his hands lingering just barely at the arms of his throne. "But what wouldst thou do for that knowledge? What wouldst thou sacrifice?" His voice lowers, transitioning to a rumble of thunder. "Wouldst thou serve? Wouldst thou seek thy revenge and then return to heel?"
Those blazing eyes briefly hold on the grappling forms of man and god-being, only to shift to Thor and Sersi. It's Thor he answers, his voice booming as before, "Should he agree, then thou shalt know as he does. Should he not, then thou shalt know after he has been dismissed from my sight."

Some would say now is not the time to bargain, now would not be the time to press for an advantage when you clearly have none yourself. John Aaron holds the armored Ares away from him, the clenched hand grasping the creature around the throat. Each seems unable to move the other, it is an impasse. Yet it is through such a situation that John speaks, "Grant me this knowledge, and the freedom to pursue my revenge…" His eyes narrow, then with a weight of intensity, each word laced with vitriolic anger that lashes each syllabe he adds, "Then, aye. Afterwards, I'll serve." And with that he seals the bargain.

"So shall it be." Smug. Oh, the bastard is /smug/ — or, perhaps, it's all just coming to pass as he'd planned in some manner or another. "Son of Odin and daughter of Helios, thou hast borne witness to his oath," his eyes touch and linger on Thor and Sersi before dropping, anew, to where the avatar and spectre continue to struggle against one another.
One hand lifts, palm out and toward Ares. Energy crackles and swells, writhing around his hand before being loosed in a powerful charge toward the back of his construct. The disruption is deliberate, the undoing of every bit of craftsmanship required to create the simulacrum; to shatter the containment and free the power within to return to its rightful owner.

The armored figure immediately begins to implode, crushing in on itself as the energies swirl around it. Small whipcracks of energy pop and explode around the two grappled figures and through it all John maintains his deathly certain grip upon his double's throat. It's a swirling vortex of energy that surrounds them both and seemingly funnels now into the body of the formerly mortal man.
It's only a space of several moments before the energy flickers, disappears, and dies. It leaves only one figure standing there upon the dais below Zeus. That figure is garbed in armor the color of shadows and blood, the blade at his side crackling with contained power. He looks to the side, expression grim, then turns to focus fully upon Hermes. One gauntleted hand lifts and he points at the godling.
"Stay out of my sight, messenger. Forever." That said he turns and steps down and away from the throne of his father, moving with his comrades towards those great double doors.

Thor sniffs the air derisively at Sersi's words his posture showing no worry what fate may befall him for his actions here.

When Zeus speaks again and a choice is laid before John the Thunderer lowers the great mallet he bears a few centimeters while giving the once-god a heavy regard for the choice that he is given.

'..accompany thee for Justice..' He can hear his own voice, '..not vengeance..'

'..thought me a vengeful monster..' He then hears John Aaron's, '..fell from Olympus..'

Thor's heavy regard darkens as John makes his choice and wordlessly the hand bearing Mjolnir falls to his side. There is foulness to the deep blue of the Asgardian's eyes and that foulness is placed upon Zeus as if his own divine presence somehow gifted him with knowledge of some unspoken ploy.

Then breaking eye contact nods as if his acceptance of the deal were necessary, "I am witness." Thor intones, "..and mine protection is no longer require. I shall burden thee no longer."

Then taking the hammer by its thong he spins it above his head and with the crackle of otherworldly power both he and Sersi have been taken.

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