Gods Have Points of View, Too

Brief Title:
Gods Have Points of View, Too

Characters:
Ms. Marvel, Vision, Iron Man, Sif, Ares

Scene Runner/Watcher:

IC Date:
06/24/12 13:00

Location:
Thor and Sif's Longhouse, the Hamptons

Summary:
Sif summons the Avengers to talk about Ares. Tempers flare. Then Ares shows up. Things do not get better.

Social or Plot:

TS:
No

Log:
It's difficult to miss the 'house' Thor and Sif reside in. Not only is it the only Viking Longhouse you'll ever find in the Hamptons but it has been made with materials from Midgard that shine and shimmer of gold and silver just as their halls in Asgard. Tall, arched windows can be found on each side of the structure and the front is almost entirely taken up to two large metal doors with Thor's symbol inlaid in them.

The inside of the 'house' takes the term Open Concept to a whole new level. There's not a single room that's completely sectioned off. You enter into a foyer from which, looking around, you'll see every piece of furniture and appliance in the place with the exception of the bathroom. The only room, sans large closets, that has been closed off.

The furniture is all made of stone, metal or wood and again, resembles that which can be found in Asgard though in truth looks as if one could sink into it. The appliances are all exceptionally high end but look as if they've never been used. The fireplaces on the otherhand, roar with flame happily. Even the fully stocked cupboards are open to view. And the barrells of Asgardian ale brought from home.

The most outstanding piece of furniture is likely the king size, four poster bed that sits on a raised diaz in the far back of the 'house' with thick curtains surrounding it's metal frame of silver material.

Iron Man arrives with a flare of jet powered flight, the rockets in his boots cutting off almost twenty feet above the ground to save from scorching it, the red and gold armored Avenger landing with the obvious skill of much practice ( and no sign of having been drinking ) not too far from the front door of the lodge. He pauses there a moment and just takes in the view of the architecture that combines ancient history and otherworldiness into something quite equisite, then without quite shaking himself he strides up towards the door, metal of his boots making far less sound as he walks than one might expect.

The ghostly white Avenger, the Vision, also flies to the house in the Hamptons. The Synthetic Avenger opted to fly under his own power rather than take a Quinjet, as he needed some time to crunch some numbers and run some scenerios. Flying himself gave him the opportunity to maximize his use of time. Vizh flies through the air at low speed, face pointed out ahead of him and arms held at his side. He comes in for a landing just in time for his last set of calculations are tallied. He lands with a thoughtful humph before looking around at his surroundings and at Viking Longhouse.

Having received word that Thor and Sif need to speak with the Avengers, Ms. Marvel gathered up those who have had enough rest to make the journey without collapsing, and headed for the Hamptons. She isn't quit sure what the purpose of the conversation will be, but the other two have more than earned her trust, so the current chairwoman is taking it on faith, and is in attendance herself, floating down easily behind Iron Man, whose sensors are a bit better than her own senses. Given all they have faced lately, she's playing it careful. "Alright, guys. Let's knock and see if our friends are home. Shall we?" she offers to Vision and Iron Man, before walking forward to knock forcefully with her gloved right hand upon those massive hammer-marked doors at the front of the longhouse. "Blend, Thor does not." she comments as they wait.

The massive doors are opened and they are greets by Sif. The fight, though she was out of the streets through the entirety of it, took less out of her thanks to her being Asgardian so it didn't take much for her to clean up and look fully rested. Which she is now. A full nights sleep and she was fine.

The Goddess is dressed in what is obviously a gown from 'home'. A teal silk halter style top with a ribbon around the bottom ties behind her, a silver filegre leafwork cross from the top of the halter on the right, across her bare abdomen and ending at the top of the silk skirt of the same teal which has more of the silver embellishment at the bottom and along the slit that runs up her left leg to mid-thigh.

A smile forms on her lips and she steps aside. "Welcome! Please, come in and make yourselves at home." A hand is swept inward in a motion that bids them to enter. Yes, it's a meeting but these are also her friends and she sees no reason why people cannot be comfortable and still talk business.

When the door opens and Sif greets them, Iron Man is as outwardly non plussed as a suit of armor would appear to be, though one might easily imagine Tony's eyes doing perhaps a bit more wandering...if they knew he was inside. Still, that said, the Invincible Iron Man awaits Ms Marvel's lead, the passive sensors on his suit always keeping an 'eye' out on the surroundings and noting all the details for him to review later.

The Vision wraps himself in his cape as he stands there outside of the front door. He looks from the house, to Tony and then to Ms. Marvel. He gives a nod of greeting before acknowledging what she said, "I am curious to know if their humble abode is within the jurisdiction of a home owners association. If it is, I am even more curious to know how many of the covenants that their residence breaks." The Synthezoid knows the local HOA representative probably wouldn't say anything to the Asgardians.

When the door opens to reveal Sif, the Vision offers a quick nod of greeting to her. He follows that up with, "Good day, Sif." After being directed inside, Vizh walks to the door and then through it. The inhuman Vision says to Sif, "You do not want me making myself at home here, as you say. You lack sufficient HDMI and USB ports for that. I will, however, adhere to the spirit of what you said and make myself comfortable." Though one could clearly take this as an attempt at a joke, Vizh delivers it flattly.

"Given the amount of land in question, I suspect there's no Home Owner's Association involved, Vision. Those tend to be for more tightly-spaced communities." Ms. Marvel answers, as if she is somehow a knowledgeable suburbanite. Which she isn't, but somehow she knew that piece of trivia. She does her best not to chuckle at Vision's attempt at humor, thhough she does crack a smile.

"Hi, Sif." Ms. Marvel offers warmly, stepping forward to embrace her friend and teammate, if briefly. "It's good to see that you are well. I have to say," she offers, taking a good long look around, "you have a lovely home. Thanks for inviting us." Yep. We're all friends here. Nothing so exceptional about three of the most powerful Avengers just up and flying off to the Hamptons within a day or two of the end of a city-consuming war. "And that is a lovely dress." And Sif wears it well. For the moment, Carol is prepared to take it easy and be sociable. Sure, she longs to know what this is about. But maybe if she gives the hostess a bit of time, she'll get around to that herself, and be more amenable because no one rushed her.

Carol's hug is returned warmly and as they all enter, she shuts the massive doors behind them. A blink is given to Vizh. "No... What?" Another blink and a shake of her head is given. "I'm sorry we cannot accomedate you." And then she motions to the sitting area. There's a small feast laid out on the low coffee table as well as Asgardian ale, coffe, tea and water.

"Please, help yourselves to the food and drink." Of course, she has no idea if Vizh can ingest it. She also knows Carol well enough to know she's giving Sif time. "I am sure you're all anxious to know why I asked you here. One of the reasons is, rather selfish, really. I wanted you to see the house. I'm rather proud of Thor for it." And then she grins. "And the second is to touch bases with you on all that has happened. You have mine, and Thor's, deepest apologies for not having done so sooner."

Trooping in after Carol, Tony glances around the room and notes general layout of the place, offering Sif a lift of one gauntleted hand a "Hello Sif, and thank you for the invite, as Carol and Vision have said - you've a terrific place here, Thor's gone to near Herculean efforts from all appearances. I'm sure Carol is, and I know //I// am, very curious as to why you asked us here..but the house is dam..darned near worth the flight time all on it's own. "

Vizh nods at what Carol says, "You may have a point concerning the size of the place. This is, afterall, a different neighborhood than I have experience in." He may be referring to his and Wanda's time in New Jersey after the wedding. The Synthetic Avenger looks around the expansive room for a few moments. He raises a hand up from behind his cape and shakes his head, "Oh, think nothing of it, Sif. I was... kidding." He steps further into the house and says, "Thank you for hosting us. I am slightly disappointed that I was not asked to help in the erection of your home." He pauses and adds, "Only slightly. I am, again, attempting humor."

Trust Tony to interject some amusement for all concerned. "Hey, you should be a little proud of him for building this." Doesn't everyone want someone in their lives who will go to great efforts to make a home with them? Carol heads over to the table and takes a seat, because her hostess asked her to do so. She even pours herself a drink - non-alcoholic, of course, regardless of Asgardian prejudices - as she settles in.

"I admit, I am curious. But I'm just as glad to see the house, Sif. Thanks for having us." Carol offers, with a smile. She stays in costume, however, as she settles in. "What has been going on the last several days is ... quite a mess. We're still piecing it all together. But obviously, if you have anything to offer us on that front, I want to hear it. A lot of lives hang in the balance."

A smile goes to Iron Man and Sif nods. "Greetings." She looks genuinely happy to see all of them. A brow is arched, however, when he makes note of the effort Thor went through and it even causes her to laugh. "An Asgardian God going to..." She chuckles again, picks up a glass of ale and takes a seat in one of the chairs. Her arms come to rest on the arms of it, the glass being sat on the left armrest as well and her legs cross at the knees.

Ice blue eyes go to Vizh and she grins. "I was not even permitted to help. Thor was... insistant." She smirks and shoots Carol a look that says 'male pride' before taking a sip of the ale.

When Carol speaks, Sif smiles warmly at the woman. "Thank you. All of you, for the compliments." Another sip is taken before she speaks again. "I am uncertain if I know anything you do not but I will tell you what I do. Despite how it may seem, Ares was not the ring leader in all of this. He is not without blame, certainly..." Her eyes cast a glance at Tony and then settle on Carol again, "And I feel I must note that I disagree with removing him from the Avengers roster..." A hand is waved dismissively. "A talk for another time, however. For now... What has just passed was a war raged between Zeus and Hades. Zeus sought to use gain more power than he has now by doing this which would eventually lead to him having more power over all the realms. Or so he had hoped. His plans, obviously, fell through."

Iron Man finds a seat, slouching into it with a casual and almost indolent air...as much as one can in a suit of hyper advanced plate mail anyway. "Be that as it may, Sif, it doesn't excuse what happened or //how// it happened, not on it's own anyway. New York will be months or more in repairing the damage done, and that's just to the city and infrastructure, the -people- .. a great many of them will never be 'better' and a great many more are simply gone. I meant what I said, when I told Ares to take a hike, -Earth- isn't going to be the battle field and sandbox for gods, //any// gods, to have their kindergarten squabbles in any longer..." He pauses, takes a slow breath and then lets it go once more, "Not if I have anything to say about it." He sits up, then, leaning forward slightly to look at the goddess, "I'm being blunt, and to the point, I mean no offense to you or Thor by being so but it's a position I have to make very clear, though I will also say that it is //my// position and not the official one of the Avengers as whole at this point." A glance is flicked at Carol as he speaks those last few words, before his gaze returns to Sif.

The Vision moves towards a chair. He looks down at it as Sif starts to explain things. He unwraps himself of his cape and sinks down into the chair. The cape cascades over the edges of the chair and Vizh actually looks like he's trying to make himself comfortable in it. His arms sit on top of the armrests of the chair and a finger lightly drums against it while he listens. As Tony explains his piece, Vizh cocks his head to the side in order to be regard him. The drumming of his finger stops and he asks, "Was what happened in Manhattan the war or was it simply a battle in a larger campaign? And why Manhattan?"

"Well, the three of them are responsible for hundreds of deaths and billions of dollars in damages, not to mention a Hell of a lot of other problems." Carol offers, with more than a little edge to her voice. She is pretty damned livid with the entire situation, and right now at least one of her team has succumbed to PTSD and depression as a result of this. Frankly, had she been at ground zero for the end of this, she would likely be dead, because she would //not// have allowed the so-called 'gods' to just make this mess and get away unscathed, no matter their supposed power levels. "I mean no offense here, Sif. But I don't give a tinker's damn who was 'behind it'. They are //all// responsible, and if they won't own up to it and fix it, then they can //all// be damned as far as I am concerned."

Carol pauses, looking down, and stays quiet for a bit. Clearly, this resonates with her quite emotionally. She's angry, and only getting moreso. "I'm sorry. That ... that anger is not at you. Please. Continue with what you have to offer. Just ... please understand that in the end, it may not matter to us all that much. Unless you two and the other Asgardians are prepared to help us kick the Greek pantheon the Hell off our world and //keep// them off, those responsible for these crimes will //never// be suitably punished." And she's getting damned tired of it.

Ice blue eyes go to Tony and a brow arches. "You honestly believe banishing Ares from Misgard with stop the Gods, any pantheon thereof, from using this realm as a war zone if they wish it?" She gives a shake of her head. "No. I am sorry but it will not. You will need Ares if Zeus is to continue, and he will once he is done licking his wounds and playing with his newly recovered lover, bidding for power. No one, and I mean no one, is better suited to help you defend against Zeus than Ares."

A hand is held up to stop any protest. "Yes. I know he did nothing this time. He could not and, if you will all give him the chance to defend himself and speak his peace, I do not doubt that he will explain why." And then her eyes slip to Vizh and she nods. "It was but a battle. And they chose this realm... This city... Because Zeus care the least for the mortal realm. It is... expendable."

Her gaze is then turned on Carol and she smiles. "Do not apologize, my friend. You have all the right in the world to be angry. Your lives, your people and your world have been threated. Some of it destroyed beyond repair." And here, her eyes harden. "And Thor intends to take the War to Zeus now." And she smirks. "And having already spoken with Ares, I can assure you he is not only willing but eager to make his father pay for what he has done." She softens, slightly. "You may not see it or believe it but there is true remorse in Ares for what has taken place and he means to help make it right. And to stop it from happening again. You have my support, Thor's and Ares'... Will you fight with us?"

"Fight? " Iron Man says in a tone that is part question and part incredulous, "Sif, I like the idea of making Zeus and the others take notice of what the costs of throwing tantrums on earth will really cost them. If history is to be believed he's been doing just that for millenia now and it's time he was stopped, stopped and made an example of so as to prove the point that we mere -mortals- aren't to be trifled with any longer. "

He gets to his feet then, a motion that's aided by his armor and ends up looking like he simply is standing a moment after his weight shifts without any really effort in between one state and the next. "If you, Thor, and Ares brought this to me, or us, earlier..before this? I'd have been on board before you could've finished making the offer. Now? Now I trust Ares as far as I can throw him...suit or no suit...so what's different now? What's to prevent Zeus and Hades deciding to squish Earth while we're all distracted as the play their silly tug of war games of immature adolescent power tug of war?"

The Vision raises his hands off the armrests and steeples his fingers in front of him. The tip of his fingers tap lightly against his chin. He cuts his eyes to look at Ms. Marvel, "That is a rather rigid stance to be in, Carol. What of our friend, colleague and teammate Hercules?" He looks to Tony, "And of Thor; Sif. Would you hold a similar opinion if Asgardian Gods descended on Manhattan and fought some continuation of an ancient war?" He leans forward in the chair and glances between everyone, once again returning to silence.

Carol goes quiet and still. She says nothing. She looks up long enough to watch Sif as she speaks, and then back down to the table, a pensive stillness overtaking her. She has all the right in the world to be angry? Good. Because she is //livid/. Damned near enraged, in fact. She lets Iron Man have his say, because that's just how it works. Only then does she finally speak.

"If Ares wants to help, then step one is to do //exactly// what Shannon told him to do. Go find the spirits of all of those slain in this pointless posturing that destroyed so much and so many, and bring them back. I know it can be done. And he //owes// it to those //good soldiers// and to the innocents slaughtered in a war that was not theirs and had //nothing// to do with them. If he can't, or if he won't, then I am afraid that he is either incapable or unwilling to do what must be done." Carol's voice is ... cold. A bitter cold that will not yield.

"As for the rest? If there is to be a war to stop this from happening again, then the Avengers will fight that war. We will fight, and if necessary we will die. Because //this// must //end/." Ms. Marvel almost growls out, leaning forward to place her chalice back on the table. She has no appetite left.

When asked by Vision, Carol simply shrugs her shoulders. "Hercules needs to take a stand against his father, brother, and everyone else in the damned pantheon responsible for this. He is half-mortal. If he chooses to stay on Earth, so be it. But I don't imagine he'll be able to stay neutral when we declare war on his father and the rest of them for crimes against humanity. And I would expect the same of Sif and Thor, as they have already proven by being willing to get into this."

Again Sif looks over at Tony. "And if we do not fight they will never know that Midgard will no longer be their personal battle ground." She gives a shake of her head.

She looks over at Carol and quirks a brow. "I'm sorry. It... Doesn't work like that. At least, not in our realm. Perhaps his pantheon is different. In ours, they must be reborn." Her head tilts off to one side and she sighs. "You //need// Ares for this War. That is simply the way of it. If you cannot accept his help then..." She rolls her shoulders a shrug. "He knows his father... his pantheon like no other..."

And then she looks at Vizh and smiles. "Precisely. Ares is willing to rise up against his father. To stake his claim with the mortals and defend this realm now that he is able." She looks back at Tony and Carol and sighs. "I'm sorry you both feel that way. I must say I am shocked but if that is how it must be for you... I will relay Thor's message now. We go to War with Zeus and will enlist Ares' aid to do so." She had hoped it would not come to such a division.

The Synthetic Avenger quietly listens to Carol speak. He draws in a deep breath, simply a gesture as the act is unnecessary for Vizh to do, and then he exhales slowly while leaning back into the chair again. He unsteeples his hands and raises them up in a gesture of acquiescence to the conversation. Crossing his arms over his chest, Vision once again grows silent.

"History and legend is full of stories in the Greek pantheons about returning the dead by taking them back from Hades. " Tony says after a few moments thought, "I .. don't like ultimatums, they really tend to put everyone in very rigid positions, and that leads to a fragility that's far too easy for others to exploit. I told Ares he needed to prove that he was willing to help us against his father and any others that sought to take their battles to Earth because it was -easy-, and it sounds like it's time to see if he is willing to do that as you say, Sif, or not." His voice hardens then, a cold tone that's so rarely heard from the playboy beneath the iron suit, "I will put all and everything I am and have into ensuring the safety and peace of Earth as a whole against any and all that will threaten it. Gods, Supreme Beings, aliens from far off planets..the one thing that we have going for us is the core of what makes us who and what we are: Humanity. We, Homo Sapiens, are the embodiement of hope, faith, imagination, and sheer will - and no entity has yet proven great enough that we can't overcome them or work //with// them when there is nothing else to loose."

For those that have them, spatial anomaly sensors most likely begin to go off giving a moment of warning before there's that tell-tale ripple in reality that signifies the onset of a portal's formation. Just those few moments is all it takes for the portal to grow, to tear, gleaming like a melting mirror in the air.

The next instant stepping through the portal emerges the God of War, setting foot within the open structure that is the domain of Sif and Thor. It's within the foyer that he appears, or what passes for the foyer, the area closest the door. He wears little of remark, work boots, jeans, and a ragged leather jacket.

Solidifying fully, he surveys his surroundings and perhaps the only sign of surprise to him is the slight inclination of his brow which then furrows. "Hm."

Ms. Marvel looks at Sif curiously, and then shakes her head a bit. "I don't get that, Sif. You may be new to us compared to Thor, but I figured you knew us, understood us, pretty well. How can you be shocked that this is how we would feel, that this is how we would react? The fact that Ares //didn't// stand up to his father as he should is what resulted in all of this death and destruction. And //now// he wants to stand up? Fine. I'm all for that. Step one: bring our people back. Then we will know this isn't just a play for his own power and glorification. And let's face it: he is //quite// capable of //just that/. Bobbi cut ties with him, as have we all. If he wants that to change, he knows what to do about it. We //are// going to war. It's our world, and that's just the way it is. If he wants to help, he knows what to do to prove that." Ms. Marvel isn't letting even her Asgardian friends call the tune on this one. Much as she likes them, this isn't //their// world. It's hers. Hers and humanity's, and that has to be how it stays, or the fight itself is meaningless.

Finished with what she has to say, and hating herself a bit for it, Ms. Marvel stands from her seat as well. "I thank you, Sif, for the chance to see your home, and for your offer of help. We, the Avengers, welcome your help and that of Thor in this battle. But it will be fought by humanity, for our realm, and it will be fought our way. And we will not be enlisting the aid of Ares until or unless Ares is able to prove that to be a truly wise choice."

Of course, just as Carol is turning to head for the exit, Ares decides to make his entrance. And about the only thing saving him from a photonic blast to the face upon his appearance is the fact that this is Sif's house. Carol would never do that to a friend's house. "Stand aside, Ares. We're leaving." The golden glow builds around Carol's fists and flares in her eyes, but she does not fire. Yet.

Sif sits in one of the chairs, a goblet of ale rest on the left armrest with her arms resting on them as well and her legs crossed at the knees. Back erect and chin straight, she looks completely calm, gathered and poised.

She turns those blue pools towards Vizh and smiles softly. He has been most logical and reasonable throughout all of this and she appreciates that as a tactician and a strategist. She even goes so far as to give a bow of her head to him!

"Legends are just that. Legends. There is a speck of truth in them, yes and that history is so far removed that one can only guess it's accuracy. However, we will assume they got it all right... If his realm is anything like ours... He cannot just 'bring them back'. He does not rule the Underworld. It is not his domain." She sighs and shakes her head. "You will have to talk to Ares himself about this. I would ask that you take the time to hear what he has to say as well. You may be surprised."

When Carol makes her announcement, Sif quirks a brow. "How can I understand this, Carol? There are circumstances you do not understand and because of how closed minded you are being, you will not hear him out _to_ understand them. In doing so, you turn your back on a powerful comrade-in-arms." And then she sighs softly, yet again. "If that is the way you must have it, Ms. Marvel..." She stands slowly. "I withdraw my position within the Avengers. I will continue to defend Misgard to the best of my ability, however. I wish you all the best in your endeavors."

Ares shows and Sif's surprise is quickly hidden as she makes her way over to him. Her hand is held out and she offers a smile. "Ares. Welcome. Please make yourself at home. You know you are most welcome here. Always." She turns to face the others that have gathered in her home, at her invitation, and her eyes fall on Carol's hands and narrow slightly before lifting to the woman. "Don't."

The Vision has come to learn that he can be concluded in speeches about Homo Sapians and humanity, even if he's technically not one of them. The Vision continues to remain quiet as he sits there listening to the back and forth. When Sif acknowledges what he says, he does nothing more than to incline his head briefly in response. As Tony speaks, he listens. As Carol speaks, he listens. When Sif speaks, he continues to listen. As Ares arrives? He speaks, albeit briefly, "And now it gets interesting." Vision delivers this line dryly. He leans forward, once again, in his chair and shifts his attention towards the God of War. Clearly the Synthezoid isn't standing up to leave at the moment.

Warned by sensors that if nothing else sensed the shifting electric potential and altering air and heat currents at the point that Ares arrived Tony had already started to turn towards the arrival of the God of War. When Carol starts to prep to go //through// him, however, Iron Man takes a step forward towards Ares and attempts to get between Carol and the god if posssible. "Ares, you've made some claims to Sif and Thor that you've a desire to help us...yet it's damned clear to us that right now we can't //trust// you to do so, we need proof of your voracity before we can begin to even think of working with you in a goal that we will achieve with or without the help of the gods of //any// pantheon."

"Sif, don't be so hasty in your withdrawl, please, it's certainly not anything we want you to do...and dividing us only will serve to further strengthen Zeus's already impressive position." Tony says to the goddess, looking at her for a long moment before turning back to Ares and continuing, "Return those men that Hades killed without reason, thought, or chance to even defend themselves. Hell..I'll even offer to help if it's nessecary, but without that I don't know how you think you might convince us that there's any reason we shouldn't expect to see the same sort of treatment at your hands as those hundreds received in Manhattan already."

As Sif approaches Ares he accepts her hand and lowers his eyes marginally, murmuring levelly. "Lady Sif," He then releases her hand and turns, gaze falling upon each in turn. It's only when the goddess speaks of departing from the Avengers that an aspect of dismay lights itself upon the God of War countenance. A slight frown, but then he looks to Ms. Marvel, Tony, and then Vision.

Addressing them calmly he says, "I am a proud being. To a fault." A strange way for him to begin, but then he lifts his chin and looks to Sif. "For myself I would expect and ask for nothing." He looks back towards Tony and Ms. Marvel, gaze shifting from one to the other as he speaks. "But the Avengers are individuals I respect. And I would not have those who return such to me suffer such repercussions."

Looking towards Sif, Ares says in that steady gravelly voice. "I will speak and grant what words I can to what has passed, and bid you hear them. Not for my sake, but for what strife this has caused."

Spreading his hands somewhat he then lowers them. "I will answer all that is put to me. Though I fear the answers may not rest well."

Carol turns to look over her shoulder, watching Sif approach around her towards Ares. "You acknowledge we are right to feel as we do. You acknowledge we have been 'ill used' to put it mildly. You acknowledge that Ares has given us //no reason// to trust him, given his latest actions, and that we have //every reason// to be suspect. And yet when I do so, you withdraw from the Avengers who //exist// to defend this world? You want to talk about not understanding? I don't understand that at all, Sif. But, you asked to join. You can ask to leave. I will miss you, my friend." And she will cry about it, in private, when none can see it. But she will not, cannot allow herself to do so here or now, no matter how betrayed or dismayed she may feel.

"I will not attack him in your home, Sif. But he just //appeared// and cut off my exit. Even //you// have to understand how that garners a response." Ms. Marvel answers the warning from her friend. Is that former friend? She has no idea, right now. That's going to take more time than she has to sort it out.

When Ares speaks, since it is the will of the lady of the house, Carol does not cut him off, though she longs to do so. She waits until he finishes, grinding her teeth. "Two people I respect and called friend are demanding of me that I ally myself and my team with you to defend this world, Ares. To the point that she now says they will //leave// the Avengers, because we cannot trust you. I don't understand that. I //can't// understand that. But one thing you have to understand: you have betrayed this world and its people. You speak to Sif and Thor of allying with us to fight your father. How can we //possibly// do that when we cannot trust you, or your motives? You want our trust? Our respect? Then do as Shannon told you to do. As Tony has told you to do: return those souls. For as long as you cannot value those souls enough to even attempt their rescue, you cannot value us, this world, or what we must do to be free."

Sif looks over Vizh and smirks a little before lifting her eyes to Tony. "It is not haste, Tony. I have seen what happens when someone with a closed mind puts their foot down. It is why there is a rift now between Thor and the All-Father." She gives her head a shake. "I do not know that Thor will stay. I cannot say for certain. It is his choice."

She turns to assume a stance by Ares, silently making her spot in all of this known. She is silent as they speak to Ares and he speaks to them. She even reaches out to give his arm a supportive squeeze before moving from his side to pour a goblet of wine and then returning, said goblet held out to Ares.

"Yes, You have every right to be angry. To hate the greek gods with every fiber of your being. And you doing so is not why I have withdrawn. I do so because you open one path and one only. You refuse to hear him out." Her brow arches. "It will be your way or none at all. In doing this, you are no better than those you seek to condemn. I will not follow such a lead. I am sorry." Again she's silent for a moment. "You are not the only ones to have to fight for your freedom. You would do well to remember that."

The Vision shifts in his seat a bit before deciding to stand up, the angle he was at was clearly insufficient. He wraps himself in his cape. He turns his head and his eyes, in turn, to those who speak. The Vision doesn't speak, himself. The Synthezoid opting for silence during this disagreement.

Iron Man frowns and the slightly expressive face mask of his helment emulates the movement as he looks from Carol to Ares to Sif and then back to the God of War. "Ares, what you have to say .. to //offer// had best be very convincing. " He gestures at Sif with one hand, "We only recently gained Sif as a member of the Avengers and now we're loosing her due to the actions of you and your family. " His hand moves, points to Carol, "You've pushed all of us to the brink with this, despite quite a few obvious places you could have at the very least //warned// us what was going on. Carol, Shannon, Bobbi...three of the most valiant, strong, honorable, and //caring// women I know have all written you off because of what it appears that you've done. " He pauses then, lowers his hands and gives a faint shrug, "I'll be the first to admit that some plans require .. sacrifices.. but never, -ever- have I tolerated willingly any plan or action that sacrified innocent and unware, much less un-/willing// lives. So, Ares, let's hear what you have to say...and it better be worthy of the lives and pain you've cost the citizens of New York and their families..all those that were simply living their lives or defending their homes."

The God of War lifts a hand towards Sif, turning away her offer of the wine. He then looks to Carol and says calmly in that low rumbling voice, "I will answer you as I can, Ms. Marvel." Then his eyes shift to Iron Man, "I did grant what warning I could. I was unable to grant more." He lowers his hands then says, "If I may?"

The tall man rests his hands at his sides and then begins,

"You know of me as Ares. Yet I am also John Aaron."

"Years ago Olympus was besieged, I was called upon to defend it. I defeated Hades then in his bid for power. Yet I found the other gods petty and wanting. I broke my ties with my family, and fell to earth. I relinquished my godhood, became mortal... or as mortal as one of us can become."

"I lived amongst you for over a century. I fought beside you in all your great wars. Eventually I came to feel as one of you. I took a wife, and had a son. His name was Alexander."

At those words, Ares stiffens faintly, it's barely perceptible but the tension is there. "My wife passed, I chose to raise my son as a mortal. I remained away from the madness of the great game of the gods. I knew my family for the petty things that they are."

"Years went by, Ms. Marvel discovered me when a group of insurgents struck at the place I was employed. She thanked me then for my aid, let the Avengers know of my presence of who I was."

"Captain America approached me, at the time there was some great threat, since in truth there is always some great threat. He asked of me that if he should fall, then I would stand for him. I told him I would, and I would do what was needed. My answer mispleased him, yet he accepted my oath, for matters were grim."

"It was at this time that the Eternal Sersi, again of the Avengers, was consorting with the god known as Hermes. She told him of me, thinking it was some great anecdote of amusement. Ares, living as a mortal."

"I found out later that Hermes took this information to Zeus, and Zeus chose to basehis gambit upon my return. From Zeus, Hermes was instructed to then in turn tell mine enemy Hades of my existence."

The God of War's eyes narrow, "Hades chose to extract his revenge and take the life of my son."

Ares continues, "Enraged, Thor and I went to Mount Olympus, I pleaded with my father fr the return fo my right as God of War. He accepted, but only upon the agreement that he would bind me with power and oaths to his will."

"I agreed, for then nothing mattered to me save revenge. Perhaps you know of the war we waged. Black Widow, Thor, Black Knight, Sersi... we shattered the walls of the underworld together. Cast Hades down. He tried to turn the shadow of my own son against me and to give him peace. I had to destroy his love for me."

"Zeus appeared, cheered for me having destroyed his rival, and then asked of me to ascend the throne to the Underworld. I realized if this was his wish and yet he did not command me, then he could not compel me to obey at the least in that regard."R "I asked him why I should do so. He tried to woo me with promises that with that power at his control in turn through me that the balance of power wuld be shifted. That he would holw sway over not just the Olympians, but the other pantheons as well, and then in turn throughout the known realms."

"I told him no," Ares' expression darkens. "I refused. He raged at me."

"Yet it was not enough, without Hades to oppose him he was still gaining power, simply more slowly."

"Over this time I fought with you and yours, we faced Graviton, and defeated him due to Thor's sacrifice."

"Yet I knew as time passed that matters would worsen. I chose a path that I knew would be difficult."

"Hades had returned, but having died, having been stripped of his powers he was nothing to me. Each night in vengeance for Alexander I would torture and slay him. Yet each more he would arise as a shadow and whisper quiet words to me."

Ares takes a steadying breath, then continues. "He confided in me that Hermes, acting in Zeus' stead had told him of me, of Alexander. It confirmed the words of others. As it stood I could do naught, I could not even speak ill or give word of Zeus' plans such a geas I had upon me. I felt I had to force Zeus' hand."

"To do so I would have to exert pressure upon him.I informed Hades that I would no longer block his efforts at escape. He set his followers to the task of the invasion. Hades' return would be enough to gain Zeus' notice, as well as the endangerment of his concubine."

"I allowed the God of Death's minions to escape, knowing that it wuld draw at least some measure of admonishment from Zeus, most likely carried by Hermes. When Hermes appeared I struck him down and allowed Hades to possess the corpse."

"Hades had returned, and now Zeus had to face matters himself. Zeus appeared and rather than risk an all out confrontation instead took the easier route and agreed to my terms to free me from the oaths and powers that bound me, but only if I ascended to the throne."

"I accepted, ascended to the throne for that one moment. I banished the army, destroyed Hades' possessed form. Zeus most likely felt that he would still be marginally ahead with his brother crippled and myself in his place. To return the balance I gave the throne back to Hades. I made the choice to forego my vengeance upon Hades to insure the end of this threat."

And then he looks to Carol and says quietly, "I am sorry, truly, for what has passed. For the deaths of those men. They were great warriors, deserving of the greatest honor. But I do not hold the ability to bring them back. If I had done so when I had been the ruler of the Underworld... then I would have been bound to the role and unable to relinquish it. Yet if I did... they would not return in a manner you would recognize."

At this he falls silent.

It is a rarity for Sif to cry. Rarer still is for her to allow others to see those tears. And yet, as Ares told his story, the tears came. Unbidden yet unstopped, they make tracks down her cheeks. A hand covers her mouth and her eyes dances from Ares to Vizh to Tony and then to Carol before she lowers her head. Even if she did not already stand by Ares, she would now. For Thor, Sif would do all that Ares had done and more if needed. She can only imagine what she would do if it were her child.

Carol listens, in spite of herself. She listens, mostly, because it is Sif's home, and Sif has asked it o her. She doesn't think it's a good idea, and when Ares is finally through her mind has not changed. But her words have. "Here's the problem, Ares. I'm going to make this simple, because I want everyone to understand. The love you have in your heart for your son? Each and every one of those people is loved by others like that. And loved others like that. And they had just as much a right to their lives as your son did. But you didn't fight for their lives. You //conspired// to their ends. And now you stand at the end of that road, their deaths on //your// hands - because you put all of this in motion. I don't say Zeus isn't to blame. Of //course// he is. And Hades. But the point is, neither of them was an Avenger. Neither of them had lived as a mortal and learned to love as a mortal. You had. But you betrayed all of that to return to the game to exact some change. Not at the cost of your life. Or even your power. But at the cost of their lives. You cannot see how important their lives are. And because you can't, you betrayed us. Because you can't, you don't see why we cannot possibly trust you, even if you mean every word of what you have said.

Carol sighs, releasing the energy flaring about her fists and in her eyes. "We've heard you out. Others are welcome to stay. But I will not. And I will do everything in my power to find the means to cast you and your entire pantheon out of our world and //keep// you out, rather than allow another travesty like this to take place. Because that is what I deem to be my //duty// as an Avenger and a hero." And with that, she marches past the God of War, and her friend Sif, and out the doors.

Throughout the history lesson, Vizh continues to remain silent. The ghostly Avenger slowly approaches the group gathered by the front door as Ares tells his tale. The expression on his face is one of neutrality or at worst, indifference. The neutrality breaks with a slight frown. He looks towards the tearful Sif and nods to her, "Your hospitality is appreciated, Sif. It is unfortunate that the decisions that were made here today have the results that they have. I am hopeful for your return to the Avengers." He pauses, "Give my regards to my friend Thor, please." Vizh looks to Ares, "Few words have been exchanged between us during your tenure with the Avengers. I am also hopeful we will be able to interact under better terms in the future." Vizh moves in Carol's direction to follow her out.

Tony Stark listens, and listens quietly and intently for those that know his body-armor language well enough to tell. He takes a long moment before he replies, waiting for Carol and Vision both to speak before he does. "Ares, I don't know how I would have coped with your situation, with the choices you had to face. I don't envy you the pain that your father caused you, nor the depths of anger and fear that you must have visited. " He moves then to follow Carol, glancing at Sif, "I am very sorry to see you go, and I trust that despite this departure that we can continue to be the friends I had hoped we would be. Pass on my regards to Thor, if you would. " Then as he passes Ares his attention turns to him once more, "I do know one thing...no single life is worth hundreds or thousands of innocents...there must have..had to have been another way."

...and with that, Iron Man turns to follow the other two Avengers from Sif and Thor's home.

"I did not have the option," Ares rests his hands on his hips, following the Avengers as they make their departure. "I could not simply wait for the day when Zeus was all powerful and then compelled me to kill all of you, then whomever else chose to oppose him for the rest of eternity."

Ares' features crack, the first hint of frustration, or perhaps even anger as he adds. "The luxury of such idealism is bought with the coin of the blood from those who pass in such battles."

There's a tilt of his head then as he looks towards Carol, "I had imagined a soldier to understand such."

A nod is given to Vision, Ares' expression returning more neutral as he steps back from the door to not halt their departure. Then, quietly he says towards Sif, "You should not leave the Avengers. They will need you, and you them."

A water smile is given to Vizh and Tony. "My friendship was never dependant upon my position as an Avenger. Not as far as I am concerned. You are welcome in our home any time."

She falls silent once as Ares speaks, tears being brushed from her eyes and dried from her cheeks before she turns to face him fully. "Ares... You and I both know I cannot continue to be a member of the Avengers. For several reasons. Tactics and strategies are just one of them... I would have done the same for Thor. I would regret it afterwards, yes, but I would not hesitate to do it. I can only imagine what I would do for my child. Midgard has my sword. I will defend her and her people as loyally and vehemetly as I defend Asgard. It will not be part as an Avenger, however. I am too much of a soldier."

At Ares' comment, Carol turns to face him, biting back the anger she wants to use. "I would have thought a soldier would understand you don't sacrifice innocent lives. You sacrifice soldiers, to //protect// innocent lives. If you cannot maintain your ideals, then what you are left with at the end in your victory is ash and hollowness, a lie. A lie to yourself, worst of all." That said, Ms. Marvel takes flight, headed back to New York, her heart heavy at loss, alone even when flanked by friends.

The Vision remains silent after his last words and lets the words exchanged by the Gods and other Avengers be the last ones. After Carol takes to the sky, The Vision also ascends off the ground. An expression of neutrality is once again plastered onto his face. Once sufficiently high enough in the air, he activates his communications device... as Carol is probably flying way faster than he has the means, "If you need to speak in regards to this turn of events later at the mansion, I will make myself available."

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