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A rave of returning ravens Read 9207 times

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Re: A rave of returning ravens
« Reply #60 on: May 17, 2016, 07:28:29 pm »
The air around their home was changed without being alarming. A sphere of cold would be there to greet him when he came into the same space as Ia. Only the world now, as it was, and a little sharper. He knew who’d come back. It wasn’t a sad thing. He’d known Ia had struggled with some kind of balance between what she was, and what Mahu needed to become. The blue eyes were dear to him. “Good to see you, Sylphie Winters.” He said to her, disconnecting the threads of nourishment and letting the detached ends sink into the skin, for Mahu to keep. “Please give Ia love from me, if you can.” He said to both of them.

There was a glow, a silver blue that could have been white, lining the inside of the see-through material that had become of his skinsuit, at places. He nodded when she remarked on it. It wouldn’t glow when Ia touched it. His sister had been a little fascinated at first, since it might have been a sign of decay. It seem it was at least not a desirable transformation, with Seylphie worried. He smiled at her, with a thought on his face. The way she spoke, she did not know the new state of her city. He supposed it didn’t matter. He was still a god and could pave their way. The collarbone ring throbbed to welcome the maker back.

He took her hand, having gotten used to the difference in size. It was still tempting to carry the body, and Ia wouldn’t mind. “The city hasn’t been entirely elegant in accepting gods.” He warned her. Few knew of their garden in the center of it all, so there were none here. He’d seen the madness, though. Sasu must be thriving. With the violence that follows conviction, especially when it is asymmetric and false, Xeros shouldn’t be displeased, either. The World Tree would be growing strong, this season. “Not everyone was as prepared for it as my priestess.” It was a compliment. Perhaps he was a bit sentimental to meet Sylphie again.

He showed her through the forest. His heat had made a glass path through a hidden row of trees. The sun was the same, Admer hadn’t been drawn to this conflict, after all, and season was itself, still. The grass, too, hadn’t known a change in the human spirit, or the ruckus the gods had caused. The pair would not be walking long, though, in their fondness, the god and his priestess, until someone came upon them. The man, who had thought himself a man of science and utter doubt about the rumors and handheld movies of a hat-adorned death, jerked back when he saw the flawed, big god with spouse at hand. The former doubter would shout, and the a choir of the same, off-tune, frightened enthusiasm would follow, as more flocked. Eou looked down at Sylphie and smiled with reassurance. Thorns grew out of the ground to warn the building mass. They obeyed the line, most of them, and the two that didn’t called out in agony as they were clad and swallowed by the green, rising, barbed threads.

“Inelegant, as I told you.” He said as Mahu coiled in her belly, excited to be out to watch his father practice the power the godling would inherit.

The god of gossip, never a stranger to earth, would not be called only toward the reappearance of Eou and what they thought was Ia. It was Ia’s belly, and its cargo. If this age ushered in another generation of gods, called heroes in Ryllian mythology, then they could hope that godling would fight for them, love them the way Death had not.

The walk toward the PanTech tower wasn’t far, though it was lined. Closer, there would be a sworn veritable army ready to subdue the masses around the returning, techno smeared Creation, and Ia, who seemed more approachable, somehow. The guards also would be elated to see her state, but not so much so that they’d be distracted from their task of clearing way.

-

Conner’s head dropped, the immaculate hair unmoving. There was need to be presentable now. The well-kept, well-oiled up-do made the bones of his face more severe, even if he thought he was a gentle man. He squeezed his own fingers, contemplating what his sister asked. “I suppose They did not mean to hurt me more than the ocean means to drown the seafarer.” One of his cheekbones lifted, a frown akin to a snarl. He was passionate, and could live his life off the whim of anger. “I would have preferred not feel like this. I would have wished They’d have mercy, or that Their god allowed her to have mercy.” He kept the shirt he wore underneath his robe and put a jacket over it. There was also need for secrecy, when venturing out.

A stale laugh, short. “I’m not here for Their happiness, Saoirse.” He reminded her. “You be safe, also.” He gave before leaving.

Connor knew her heart because it he’d harbored a replica of the same before it was shattered. In truth, the man that straddled a motorcycle and exited through a ramp in the back of the building, had not built that heart to withstand rejection. In that time, he’d been high on chemicals that whispered to him They would be the rest of his life, that they’d throw their robes and stay with him, go with him. Somewhere Conner knew this, but he bit his teeth too hard and dreamed too bitterly to accept it.

His bike malfunctioned when it should not, in front of a particular, rust scented establishment, a small courtesy of a green god.

-

Sasu had placed himself in the empty chair by Their table. He was well feed, the white fire spilling down his temples and over his shoulders. Had he not been a god, it might have seemed as though he was almost strained, the way a person who has eaten his fill and more is strained. Sasu instead looked powerful, fueled. “Oracle.” He started, the voice rattling the porcelain. But the others wouldn’t see it, wouldn’t hear it. “Earth has been kind to me, and you are positively—gritty.” He said with a grin. The fire mingled with his black hair, and bustled in the shadows of the muscles of his body, as though white lava was wanting to come up from inside. “But of curse I want you to gather and play with the sister and brother.” Their friction wouldn’t be much food for him, not compared to what this city was currently serving up, but he had a taste for it, wanted it. It had become his little project.

Conner, who was done cussing and looking at an engine that seemed fine, pulled his helmet off, the perfect hair slightly less so. It added to the intensity of his eyes as he made his way to the outside serving area of the café. Sasu made it so that Conner automatically was drawn to the seat he was currently enjoying. With another twist of godly magic, Conner was looking  anywhere but at The Oracle. Sasu touched his fingertips to each other. “So, Oracle, Angel, dear.” He said as Conner sat down into him, the projected shape of the god now clothing Conner’s human body, a ghost. “What will you do to make him feel loved, and entertain me?”

It would be a strange, double creature in front of Angel, with Conner sitting through Sasu. With a clap of his teeth, Sasu finally allowed Conner to see the very person he was looking for. “Can you believe the service here?” He started, truthfully annoyed, a lingering sentiment from the failing vehicle. His expression changed quickly when he saw Them. “Y-you. Oracle.” The slight parting of his lips, the startle, soon gave way to a smaller setting of his mouth, his jaw jutting at either side as his shoulders dropped and his chest puffed. With poisonous bow to his head, he put both hands on the table. “I believe Saoirse needs you.”

VenomousEve

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Re: A rave of returning ravens
« Reply #61 on: May 20, 2016, 11:08:54 pm »
Sylphie studied his face carefully. She wanted to ask if he’d missed her at all, and then wondered if that was Ia’s influence on her heart. It was strange to feel so urgently what belonged to another. She wanted to tell him she’d missed him. “I know.” She said to him, instead of all the other things her soul wanted. “Well. Ia knows. I understand that the city is different.” She corrected herself. She followed him out of their enchanted abode, drinking everything in as they went. It was like seeing a place someone had described to her in detail. She knew it well, but had never before met it. Now, it was like recognizing a familiar face. This forest had been on the tip of her tongue.

Sylphie felt Mahu move, and put her free hand to her belly. “He’s coming soon.” She told him. He must already know. “I’ll miss him.” Because he was her only company, besides Ia, and Ia was cold. Sylphie hummed. “Where is Xeros?” she asked as they walked. The heartstring Sasu had made for her vibrated just so.

She wasn’t given an answer before the small crowd began to form. Eou’s thorns created a fence and the priestess held tighter to his hand. She understood the fervor, but it was uncomfortable to see. Ia was accustomed to worship, in one way or another. Sylphie was not. “I was raised to be yours, but these sorts of people are… more like the mobs that used to protest my research.” She said. “They don’t think.” She frowned. Perhaps gods could not discriminate. Or, perhaps it was in their benefit not to. Prayers were prayers and all fed the ego.

When PanTech’s hulking glass tower came into view, Sylphie drew a long breath. She knew her place had changed since Ia’s arrival. PanTech had changed too. It was a temple to Ryll as much as it was to science and that felt strange. Stranger still was her hand in it all, moved by another force. Sylphie had grown to expect her worth counted by the strength of her mind. Divine power felt oddly cheap.

The guards bowed a little, when they got close and the mob’s cries became thunderous. Sylphie nodded to them, because she wasn’t sure what else to do. These were not Followers in the sanctum. This was a church swollen. She ran her fingers over Mahu’s mass. “This should be encouraging, I suppose. The Followers don’t have to hide anymore.” She said. “It’s a bit disturbing, though, if I’m going to be honest.”

In through the front doors and all the activity in the lobby ceased. Reverence. “Goddess!” a solitary voice cried out. Ryll had mothered the primal forces of the known universe. Now Sylphie was the new Mother. Mahu’s life was excused, because Sylphie herself was not Creation’s sister. A loophole for fragile human sensibilities. Thus, Sylphie was the Mother of the Harbinger. The first Light of the New Era. A child that was god and human and the birthed from the very forces of existence.

They made their way to the elevators and up to Sylphie’s lab. It was almost comically practical, their visiting for a checkup. Sylphie, whose body was the new Ia, tying her hair up and sliding a lab coat over her velvet gown. Technological goddess. “Come, disrobe for me and lay down.” Authoritative, because she was in her kingdom and because Ia was Eou’s equal. Interesting, because it wasn’t an uncommon thing for her to say, but Ia’s intentions were a different kind of sweet.

--

The oracle was half-surprised when Sasu showed up. They would have been a little more respectful if they’d expected an actual audience. “I see that you’ve been enjoying yourself.” A sip of their latte. They looked curiously metropolitan, sitting there with their low-pulled hat and flirtations of white hair. Dark skin and a cloudy grey ensemble. Blue jeans. The lack of ceremony was enough that it would take some effort to have placed the slight frame back in their home environment. Seated with a coffee like this, that seemed wrong. “If you let everything fall apart, there won’t be anything left to cause strife with.” The oracle said. “Does that kind of thing matter, to a god?” they asked.

Connor sat across from them and they jumped just a little. Sasu provided the worst kind of serendipity. A slight scowl, for Sasu, because they had been somewhat called on their bluff. The young man seemed not to recognize them for a moment, which gave the oracle some confidence, regarding their inconspicuousness. Connor seemed to hold his bitter close, letting it bubble to the surface as soon as they recognized them and recovered from the surprise. At least the oracle had not been totally alone in the unexpectedness of the meeting. Sasu around Connor was irritating, and the oracle did their best to keep a neutral face. Was it normal to find a god frustrating, in the way humans find one another frustrating? The oracle wasn’t sure. They hadn’t been educated on those sorts of emotions. Reverence was paramount, that was all.

“Hello, Connor.” The oracle said. “It’s been a while.” They weren’t sure what else was appropriate. They didn’t know what the boy might want to hear. They were about to say something like ‘you’ve grown,’ and then thought against it. The oracle didn’t connect with romantic love, but they weren’t any sort of broken. They caught the patronizing tinges in such a comment and held their tongue. They settled on ‘have you been well,’ but didn’t get the chance to offer it. Conner spoke first.

“Saoirse needs me?” they frowned, aggravated with his tone. Perhaps Sasu had given them some greater humanity, or maybe it had been being released from the solemnity of Ia’s service. There was more emotion in the oracle, though, from whatever cause. “I have been away quite precisely to aid the Cult, Saoirse included.” They said. “Saoirse is a smart girl. She would have sent someone else after me if her only intention was having me back because she ‘needs’ me.” A sharpness there that Connor would not have encountered from them, before, not even when he had been rejected.

The oracle was not supposed to be behaving this way, but it was as if some long-held censorship had been ripped away from them as they sat across from the boy. They had watched their dearest friend die and bend beneath a cold and self-interested goddess. They had been stripped of their purpose and even their clothes. They had been cast toward the god of all Trifles and, really, the oracle felt a growing justification for their surging new venom. “So, Connor, because you’re a smart man also, why are you here? Or rather, why have you been sent and why were you willing?” their stare narrowed and the look would have been accusatory, had there been real eyes to facilitate it. Perhaps he had just noticed the glittering orbs nestled in their sockets.

“You left because you were a child, just as I said, and the truth offended you. I can only presume you came back for love of your sister. I must guess, as well, that you’ve suddenly found your true faith? Buried beneath your ego?” they snapped. The expression softened abruptly. They supposed they weren’t much to speak about fragile faith.

“However, I’m sorry if I was overly harsh.” They said, and it was sincere and more empathetic than anything they could have offered him when he’d first confessed. A long silence fell between them and the oracle watched Sasu leer. “Back then, I suppose I was a bit naïve as well. I thought it was better to make you understand than to lead you down some hopeful path with no satisfactory outcome.” The oracle sighed. “For whatever reason you came back and are here, now, I’m glad to see you.” They leaned back against the back of their chair and stared upward, unwilling to keep looking at the strange phantoms of Sasu and Connor shifting in and out of one another. “It’s not as if I don’t care for you, and Saoirse as well.” A small voice. “But stop bowing and tell me honestly why it is you were sent. I’ll go back with you, regardless,” a pointed look at Sasu because they seemed to expect compliance for indulging his game. “I think I’ve accomplished what I wanted to, anyway.” Startlingly human, no longer a vessel alone. They had likely shocked themself as much as they had shocked Connor. The oracle didn’t know if they quite liked whatever sense of self it was that had split itself open.   

« Last Edit: May 22, 2016, 11:11:31 pm by VenomousEve »

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Re: A rave of returning ravens
« Reply #62 on: May 21, 2016, 03:53:42 pm »
Where was Xeros. There were clues. A little accident here, with falling, stable structures, and a fire there, that only burnt away people, and not material. While the mass did not know of their crafted god-home, Xeros would have no trouble sensing Ia. The deaths had occurred around the park. Offerings? Little notes? Ia had been as amused as she always were, with those things. Eou had not thought about it much until now. Despite the activity in his field of interest, Death himself had not shown. More urgent, that question on her lips meant that it was something Ia wondered, too.

Sylphie didn't take to the crowd. He suppose she wouldn't. This kind of clamor was ballistic. From above it didn't matter, the trampled, the crazed. To the gods that fed of human hearts love was still extractable, even if the chemical lining was volatile. To live in it, though, must not be as pleasant or flattering. He noted that about the red-eyed reaches. His bond to them had returned, with Sylphie's resurrection, and there was reason for his curiosity, if not sympathy, again. He'd touched her, and some of the people had been excited to see her cheek blossom, lethally. He found that he enjoyed their disappointment and jealousy. Not all his contact would grow and weaponize the mold on human skin.

In the tower there had been people who fancied themselves closer to him and his sister, of course. But he gave them no favor, no more information. A lifted hand at their insistence and an a suggestion, which was an order in their ears, to leave him and his priestess be. Eou folded his arms, watching Sylphie put on her white coat. Nostalgia. A smile, askew. "You look yourself again." he remarked before ridding of the cloth she'd provided to him upon the day of his birth here in this room. As with Xeros's black, and Sasu's purple, his crimson had also worn to an essential triangle, instead of its larger, more modest wrap-around condition. It didn't matter now, with it discarded to the side.

He placed himself on the slab, and it occurred to him that the metal slate had been made for his proportions. The computer, excited to see him, blossomed with projections on the walls. "Some of the machines have been humming strangely, interrupted." he said and touched his chest absently. "Do you suppose I'm dying a human death?" It was jest, but Eou knew it was a possibility.

-

Connor hadn't known what to expect. To him, They had always been a god. To many others, before this last part of the story, The Oracle of Ia was as close to divinity they would have imagined themselves. A mystical connection, belief over knowledge. There is a security in the ether sea, and the world is cold when you're lifted from it. Perhaps he had hoped They hadn't changed, that They would repeat the same rejection he'd played on the foreground of his thoughts since he'd left. Heaven knew he had enough retorts for that, now.

Instead this. A test of his character, no, a suggested judgement on it. He caught it quick, the willingness to please her, and had to lock his spine so he wouldn't bow again. Red blood in his veins, and red, in Connor, was an angry color. As it was now, he would fight on a profound level in himself to throw things on that fire, to raise and maintain it. He listened, but didn't let the meaning set deeper than to analyze, so he could rebuttal. It was the human way of doing things, of climbing and clawing for high ground to justify the badness he'd felt.

Sasu was quite bloated with what he could feed off them both. Sometimes he would mimic Connor, follow him, which would leave just Connor's form, with the godly aura and white eyes. Eventually Friction reached inside his new form, and pulled out the tangled nest that was any human's heart. The golden string of love was curled and woven through an orb of sickly purple, more akin to loose fibers, fine arteries, than sewing thread. The deceased things inflamed further when she spoke. "Anything else you'd like to say to him, Angel? I'm not sure I could eat anymore, but I'll try."

Connor, having no real part in that conversation, held his balled hands on the edge of his side of the table. He refused to be rendered mute by this change in her. "Saoirse thought this might lead to some kind of forgiveness. For myself, between us, for this whole ordeal with my heart and all its" and Sasu spoke along with what came next "infected strings." To be so deeply scorned, Connor must have been a romantic, beforehand. The best kind of food for Sasu. Connor continued speaking, now without Sasu's voice in his. "I suppose I should humble myself against the power of our circumstances, if not my drifting belief." Had it all just been to attach himself to her, his faith? Ryll, her children, maybe it was all just a rail on his path to The Oracle. A broken sigh, shards in his throat. So much gravel rattling around, but by the end of it, something that could resemble peace, however artificial. Humans and their walls.

"How have you been on the outside?" Plastic words with what should be a real sentiment. The heart Sasu held out throbbed, out of sync. He caught bile that dripped in his other hand and breathed in the vapors it became.

"And yours is shaping up too." The god said, and pointed to her chest. True or friction? "Perhaps you can cleanse each other, if the earth is going to be a plate for Xeros and I, anyway? But if you use intimacy to falsify his approval, will Saoirse be happy or envious?"

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Re: A rave of returning ravens
« Reply #63 on: May 23, 2016, 12:12:31 am »
Sylphie glanced at him. “I guess I am myself again.” She answered him, though her expression read more like a question. Poor soul. Maybe humility would prevent her from naming herself the goddess she’d become. Something new and changing. Destruction carved into humanity, blue-eyed in the morning and violet by twilight. Sylphie attended to the computer while Eou disrobed and made his way to the table.

He was joking, probably, but she frowned anyway. “Honestly, it’s something like that.” She said. As the words fell from her mouth, she felt a hard squeeze in her chest. Maybe Ia hadn’t quite realized it. Sylphie was closer to death for all Decay was. Ia was still new to mortality. “But it’s the parts I made, so it’s not quite the same.” Sylphie tapped at the glowing screen. “In other words, I can fix it.” She said, but her lips made a hard line.

Sylphie moved to the table and waved her palms over his skin. Blue light, projected from the ceiling and the edges of the table projected a map of data across his body. Her fingers to the ring on his chest and a thin hiss and whirr as the mechanisms of his robotic parts welcomed their maker in. Sylphie made a vague sound to herself. It seemed Ia had removed her wristband at some point. She left him to rummage in a cabinet for another one. She slipped it on and gloved up.

“It would have taken about a week of monitoring for me to appropriate balance all your chemicals. It looks like my calculations were pretty close, but it’s hard to account for whatever error a God Soul might introduce.” Sylphie had such a voice when she lived in this space. She owned his body, this way. “I could only guess so much about that kind of interaction and how it would push a fundamentally human system.”

From beneath the table a drawer popped open at her behest where sets of neatly labeled syringes sat in uniform rows. She went to work immediately. This chemistry had been prepared for extensively. There was some pride in her for knowing the formula balancing as plainly as breathing. “I presume my—Ia’s contributions to your condition haven’t helped much, either.” She murmured. It made her pause for a moment, a small flash of color across her cheeks. She’d not been awake for any of Ia’s hunger, but she knew it as well as she knew every kiss he’d given her since the beginning of time. Lifetimes of experiences Sylphie now carried with her, for all her own naivety.

“This body,” she said, speaking of her own, “is being somewhat maintained by your own power, isn’t it?” she asked. “And Mahu’s own will to live?” She pushed numbers around on the light map. Pulled up new ones. “Ia is a perpetual breakdown. It’s in the fibers of her existence. So, maybe it’s new for you to be in the same state.” Sylphie made a sound in the back of her throat. She’d need to grow him new skin grafts to repair the places that only synthetic scaffold was left. Ia’s games had destroyed every cell there. At the very least, that much was rather aesthetic in nature. “Still, you’ll need this sort of maintenance from time to time. To keep that body.” More plainly, he’d need her.

In some fashion, she’d just secured some new balance with Ia. Some reason to be kept present even after Mahu left them. The goddess, watching silently from the recesses of consciousness, found that irksome. But Sylphie felt considerably less like a threat these days. Perhaps it was that Eou had confirmed his love for Ia again and again, or perhaps it was simply that the divide between the two souls was becoming a more fluid thing despite Ia’s distaste for it.

Sylphie exchanged drawers, chemicals replaced by less delicate looking tools. Attendance to the machine in him, as well. “I would turn off your central pain-sensing units, but it wouldn’t quite prevent you from feeling anything unpleasant and…” she smiled a little bit. It was Ia’s smile, even if the voice had been Sylphie’s. A bit softly, then, “You make beautiful faces when you’re in pain. It’s torture to watch.”

--

The oracle did their best to ignore Sasu in the boy. It wouldn’t have been fair to Connor to divide their attention after such a prickly diatribe. Not that any of this was bound to be fair. They’d come looking for Sasu to put these very events into motion, if only to spare the rest of the world some panic and confusion. The city was already picking itself apart quite effectively without his continued interventions.

They folded their arms across their chest. “Forgiveness.” They echoed. Certainly, they were all on some path of repentance now, in the form of sacrifice. Did it count for the oracle, if they were repenting with deeper sins? Religion was dirtier than the Sight. The fact those two were separate was a recent discovery. Furthermore, the oracle was quite sure now than neither was ultimately pure and they themself least of all.

“I don’t particularly expect forgiveness out of you. I can see now that I was cruel to you, regardless of my intentions.” They said. There were greater sins in need of forgiveness, anyway. “And it isn’t really my place to forgive any personal lack of faith you might have.” A short laugh. “It’s debatable whether or not that’s the kind of thing to need forgiving in the first place.” For all the hectic that had bloomed with the Coming, they’d not seen any of the gods to have cared whether or not humanity had believed in them. Not really.

Whatever anger was in Connor, it seemed to have lost a little of its fire. At least for the moment. Perhaps it was on Saoirse’s behalf. The oracle glanced at Sasu, forming a response. It tasted vile in their mouth, before they had even said it. They had made a deal, though. Not that it seemed to have done Sylphie any great service.

“Lonely. Same as it is on the inside.” They said carefully. “It was okay, staying isolated before. It was for the better service of my goddess, who had no want for me.” The oracle wrapped their hands around their latte cup. “And that same goddess took with her my closest confidant. I left hoping to bargain for humanity a bit. To slow down the madness. I guess I left to look for the closest thing I have to a god, as well.” They admitted. All of that was true. What it wasn’t at its core, was an invitation. The oracle hoped Conner still had it in him to misread them, the way he used to.

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Re: A rave of returning ravens
« Reply #64 on: May 23, 2016, 08:13:02 pm »
The orange eyes were flaking, teflon coming off a plate, too hot. It was a strange wear, since he’d made a habit out of replacing the material around the eyes of this earthly shroud. The bits that had left the rings were still held close, though, inside the retina, pieces of satellite wings, caught in unmoving space. Heaven worn debris. Those eyes followed her from where he lay. It was nostalgic, in a way. They’d not developed these sessions into a routine, he’d been too eager for Ia, but being on this lab, his room of genesis, felt familiar and safe. He smiled with one corner of his mouth and breathed deep as his chest opened. The exposed lungs filled so he could speak. “I believe you can.” Fix it. The heart, flesh with mercury veins, did not beat in such a way that suggested doubt.

She scolded him, in a soft  voice, for having taken her way from her duties too soon. Eou looked at the light that she played with. There was no protest to raise. He’d planted Mahu, and tasked her with becoming Ia. More urgent matters than her life, then. He wondered if he’d felt loss if the ordeal of commandeering her body for his own will would have ultimately extinguished her. From a cold point of view, yes, he supposed, since she’d not be able to do what she did now, performing life’s alchemy.

It was quite engaging to see when she injected the contents of the syringes into him. The pricks felt clear, sudden, and then a diffuse chill as the concoctions spread. Some of the strongly colored liquids that she presented to his system retained their hue as they filled the human and silicone veins. Little winding, colorful paths, going here and there over his opened inner, eventually flattering even the silver net around the heart. Sylphie’s knowledge was something to be proud over, if you were human. She also changed her color slightly, when she reminisced over the troubles that Ia brought to Sylphie’s organic machine. “You know how passion works.” He said to add to the conversation and laid his head down. The pulse elevated slightly, spreading the injections faster, with a quicker neon waltz over his showing insides. “She wouldn’t be herself if her love built me, in any way.” Fractured night-sun eyes looked at her with some interest, then. “What would the effect of love be now, with you in the body?”

The god smiled at the ceiling, nodding. “I do what I can.” He had kept the female vessel well, despite Ia’s preferences. He was usually physically connected to Ia. He knew no other way to care for her than to create what she had spent. Sylphie would know the difference between her life’s body and now. He’d made sure it was at peak health always. “And Mahu seems fond of you, both your essence and the body. You’re right to think he does what he can to keep it intact and functioning. In fact, you know him better than I.”

He shifted slightly to look at her more directly, at the mention of more reoccurring physical over-seeing. “we’ll meet more then.” Not a question. “It seems you’re rather invaluable to me, priestess.” He couldn’t explain why he had such attachment to Sylphie Winters. Surely she’d done enough to earn his favor, but he knew it was deeper than that. Perhaps it was why Ia had marred this body until it had no more pigments to cover itself with on certain areas, when he mentioned Sylphie fondly.

Upon Ia’s glee on the face he smirked. He might look quite formidable, though opened and on his back. “Let’s see what you can do then.” He invited. “I suppose I won’t know what will be my healing and your pleasure.” He mused.

In Heaven, he’d stayed broken for as long as he could. There were some reflexes in him that added material even though he’d rather be in a state that showed what he meant to his sister. Now, on earth, the body decided itself when it was time to rebuild. It had made a challenge for Destruction. Sylphie might remember the tender cuts and the voracious devouring. “Sylphie. Do you enjoy hurting your god? Because I can see some glints that aren’t Ia’s sometimes.” he asked, his breaths clutching the ribs closed before they opened with his inhale. A cage of scissors. “Is that a fitting way to feel, as my subject?” He was jesting, encouraging, of course, but his face gave no such clue.

-

The nest Sasu was plucking from overflowed onto his other hand when Angel was so forthcoming. It was obvious the seething Connor needed some antagonizing force to fully practice his anger. The young man did seem to wear some sympathy when she spoke of her life outside of the sanctum. He tilted his head despite himself.

Conner hadn’t had many troubles with his belief. It had either been there or it had been gone. Only when he’d fallen in love had his spiritual parts been in turmoil. Surely he’d blamed his religion and his chosen path, but those bursts had been short, passionate, and ultimately useless. His practical heart had not adhered to any animosity toward his faith. He still turned to praying when he felt bad for other people. Out of habit, maybe, or hope. This lead him to hurt for Angel. They were the faith. In some aspects, Oracles were part of the religion while followers leaned on it. He wondered how emptying it would be, to have been weighed and cast away by something so fundamental. He didn’t even have the audacity to compare this to when They’d said no to him. It was not the same, simply.

“What god did you find?” he asked, and They would know that tone from a less scorned person. A person that had still been enamored by Them. Conner, inside his self-indulgent fit, had not considered The Oracle’s life and that They did not have a better lot than he.

Sasu laughed and gave the heart back to the man. “Yes, Angel. What god did you find? Was it an oceanic god, perhaps? Was it a splendid, enjoyable, light-hearted, allowing god that comes when you call and makes your existence lovely?” he asked, copying Conner’s concern in the white fire-eyes, but amplifying the sentiment, comically. “Was it an even better god than your patron?” Black teeth in the large smile.

“Will you come back with me, then?” Connor added, and wanted to move his hand over the table to brush the ones they held around the cup.

Did the oracle see how easy it was to manipulate humans? Did that lower or raise their value in Their eyes. Sasu made a disgusted frown. “He’s still smitten, deeply, you realize. I think he deserves to be played with.” And for now, Sasu was right. Connor had expected to be upset with Them. With this, he’d left himself open, and had extended something akin to an offer to Them. Which of course left him at the risk of being rejected again. The green god had something to gather, whatever happened next.

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Re: A rave of returning ravens
« Reply #65 on: May 27, 2016, 04:42:36 am »
She pressed the bit of the driver hard into him, harder than she’d intended. “It isn’t as if I haven’t been there for all of it.” She muttered. Sylphie had felt perverse, almost, vibrating with Ia at every pluck of Eou’s musician hands. She had been absorbed in the deep and obsessive love of the sister and felt it now, gnawing at her heart. But it wasn’t so natural yet. Those sentiments still had Ia’s name written on them, not hers. She was profoundly fond of her god, but she did not have the soul of his lover.

Sylphie still had the decency to blush. She might have found a deeper love of her own, had she not been cast into such a role. Sylphie felt sacrificial, at best, and held her tender vulnerabilities tightly behind her ribs. Whatever part of her wanted him, whether of her own volition or Ia’s infection, was dangerous. Her resigned loneliness wasn’t in need of any sharper edges.

Ia didn’t blush, and Sylphie’s face had become the goddess’s as much as the doctor’s. The soft pink was a bit novel. Sylphie moved intently about her work. Rougher now, because the metal mechanisms were tight. It would ache, pressure on his bones, and flare with a raw and human pain. Similar to the hurts Ia had discovered with these bodies, but deeper. Direct assaults to his synapses.

“You’re a God, man-build cage or otherwise. You could keep this body of mine alive for… at least centuries, I would suppose. Every cell replaced over and over.” She said. Fingers in the drawer. The cool clatter of metal on metal. “Mahu is something incredible.” Sylphie agreed. “I feel him and his will to exist and to keep me in existence and it’s a saturated sort of emotion that I couldn’t put into words, really. And at the same time, he is why this body demands so much from you. Ia loves him deeply and their souls are raging in that paradox.” She breathed deeply. “It’s not restful, even when I’m sleeping.”

She shook her head and flipped on the small rotary in her hand. It whirred, the tool head spinning rapidly, and glowed hotly. Sylphie hummed as she cut into a metallic plate in his sternum. He asked her if she liked it when she hurt him. “Ia likes it, so I like it.” She said honestly. “It’s intimate, I guess.” She tugged gently on some wires beneath the section of plate she’d removed. Direct lines into his nervous system. She’d had to get creative to fit all the synthetics in safe places, just to accomplish the delicate and wonderful feats of a natural human body. He would feel a full body burning, as if he were on the receiving end of his own Light for the first time. “It’s me as much as her, now. Enjoying the way you hurt. I suppose it’s not a fitting way to feel, but Ia finds it irresistible. The faces you make.”

Sylphie stopped her work for a minute to look him in the eyes. Burning, fragmented eyes. Holy. Her sky blues were rimmed with twilight. “She is in all of me and I am in all of her. It’s not very fitting, either, for you to have anyone closer to her than you.” Sylphie said, then blinked and frowned. She wasn’t sure she’d meant that, but it hadn’t been Ia either. Whatever they were, together, then. Sylphie laughed shortly as she returned to her work. “She likes you to be jealous, too. We like it.”

When she had finished replacing and tuning and checking, she closed him up with a touch to the glowing blue halo on his chest. “There. You should be systemically stable, now. I’ll keep running checks as long as I’m with you, of course. As far as physical decay and corrosion, though, I’ll need to maintain you periodically and there’s no way around it. Unless Ia is inclined to keep her hands off of you.” She scowled at her own words. A clear indication that was not the likely course.

“Now, on to other matters. This city is ridiculous. The Cult itself has become somewhat ridiculous. I won’t bring Mahu into the world under such conditions. My Lord, I must insist we find a better place for his birth… and soon.” Mother’s orders weren’t subject to servitude. He might as well have been a lab technician, for all the surety she placed in that demand. The blue eyes were fierce. “So help me.”

--

The oracle stared at Connor and Trifle, playing shadows in and out of one another. They’d found the worst sort of god, was the answer to that. Worse than something evil, because evil had its own set of rules. Friction was lawless and self-serving and unpredictable. Frankly, Sasu was annoying. Something to be ashamed of, even. “I suspect I would lessen your opinion of me even further, if I were to tell you.” They said to Connor. “The most human sort of God one could meet, though. I will tell you that much.” The oracle frowned.

“But, I suppose that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I’ve seen a side to Heaven that is less than beautiful to serve.” They were startled when Connor reached for them. They hadn’t expected that he’d be so willing to accept this reunion. The oracle wondered if it was somehow Sasu’s fault, but they Friction wasn’t known for bending wills, just bending paths. They heard Sasu talking but chose to listen to Connor instead. They were well aware of what the Green One wanted. They owed it to Connor to find at least a little bit of sincerity for him.

In truth, it wasn’t as hard as the oracle might have suspected. Connor was older, now, and they felt they’d done their due diligence in warning the young man of his folly. At least that guilt was gone. The oracle shifted their fingers just a little, to taste the skin on his knuckles. Their expression was a little sad. That kind of face was not one Connor would have seen before. But then, most of their expressions today must have been new to him. “Connor, I don’t think I make the kind of connection with people that you probably deserve. That’s not because I don’t care.” They stared at him with glittering, prismatic, gem eyes. “That doesn’t mean I don’t feel anything. That I don't want anything.”

They stood up abruptly, taking their coffee cup with them. “I’ll go with you. I said I would.” They were sure their heart wouldn’t allow them to be a romantic being, no matter what farce they could contrive for Sasu’s entertainment, and it felt cheap to trick that boy who had bothered to love them in such a way. What they could be, now, was a physical being. They hoped that sort of offering would be enough to both the god and the man. It had seemed cruel to them to indulge that base sort of satisfaction when they couldn’t offer the rest of desired love. Presently, commanded to be sinful like this, the oracle was less inclined to examine their personal morality. If Connor was willing to hang his heart on that kind of empty ache, they would let him have it and give Sasu his game.

Verse

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Re: A rave of returning ravens
« Reply #66 on: May 27, 2016, 04:50:30 pm »
His body, where the driver decided to sit and plant its influence, was hard at first, cartilage and carbon, to provide resistance firm enough to withstand her rude pressure, then a naked clutch of flesh would come to swallow and wrap around the small hilt. Sylphie without Ia must have been perverse indeed, to have him designed that way. He could feel the workings of the data, tickling on the way out after the initial intrusion. The sensation was the most noticeable around the landing of the driver, of course, almost inflamed, but also sparkled here and there in his body, depending on where she took the information from.

He enjoyed the migration of blood under her cheek. With Ia, it was coyness, when she accessed that response, and sometimes a bit of anger. Sylphie was sincerely put in a state of blush. Maybe the body recognized the old embarrassments. As the god smirked she went on with her project of ultimately healing him, and he registered the pain well. It came fluently to him, and some of the wickedness she’d sewn into his beauty hid in the features so they could mirror the pain until they smoothed to a defiant calm. As always, with resistances like this, the pain radiated, vengeful for some reaction out of him. Truly, it would have been better to let it roam free and react accordingly, but Ia had never been a brute when it came to abuse. He knew what games she liked the most, and they were candid, not lazy abandon. He wondered if Sylphie felt another way, if she liked to destroy simply so she could look at ruins. At this moment, it did not feel that way.

He enjoyed her recanting of Mahu’s world inside her. It was beautiful that Ia loved him. Eou wondered what he might feel, caught in the whirlwind, if he placed himself inside Sylphie as well. Perhaps the god and the priestess would hold on to each other, engulfed by the contradiction that was Ia and Mahu.

She opened up a long plate with that daunting saw, on his exposed self, and his legs tensed when she tended to the treasure of wire underneath. Warning collections of hurts spread first, on contact, and then the heat that comes with sensory overload. Not even his finely made nodes and receivers could fully transfer what was happening. After all, the wires were supposed to record and relay through skin, on certain areas. With them naked like this, it was the same as interacting physically with a center of the human brain. It overwhelmed the readers in him, and they did what they could, and reported everything, to everywhere. Lips parted and throat exposed, emergency connectors overriding their locks to help him arch, which in turn spread the ribs lining the crater in which she worked. Eou had taken enough of Ia’s love to know pain, and wasn’t confounded by it, but rather endured it when he recognized it. This theater of input, though, was something new to him. His sister had never done this to him, and so his expression was curious before it was a gasping abandon.

She paused to point out the affair Sylphie was made to have with Ia herself, retorting to his teasing. It was a formidable response that echoed in a place where her clear agony hadn’t reached yet. Perhaps Ia was teaching her a thing or two about this business of dealing destruction.

He scoffed, with the same doubt at the notion that Ia would keep from him, even if it meant delaying the end of his body. It was not pride or vanity that had him believe Ia could not resist hurting him. It had been in her whispers when she’d not been whole, anymore. She was attached to what she did.

He sat and touched the invisible seams of his chest, his torso in an uproar, insulted by the violation, but with a satisfied hum. “Then we will see this scenario often, when I am at your mercy.” He said.

He looked to the side, thinking when she pointed out the state of this city. She was right, of course. “But where should we go that humans won’t see their insecurities in the might of gods?” he asked, no despair in his voice. Eou stood from the slab, flexing his fingers and looking down at the body. It did feel more responsive. “Heaven doesn’t take humans, not even mothers of Demies.” He was leading somewhere, judging by the meter of his voice. A smirk as he approved of the new state of his body. “But you only disapprove of this city as it is.” He said. “There is nothing you can’t make, or remake, with Creation and Destruction.” Standing from the slab he came to her, that little distance, and brushed her stomach, through the coat and onto the robe. Mahu, who had tried to anchor Ia to himself, now that she’d ventured deeper inside, rose to the surface to meet his father's touch, filling the body with loving warmth. “There is always the option of decimating this unhinging place, so I can make a garden in its place.” He looked at his priestess. “I suppose I could find a desert as well. How attached are you to this location?”

-

Connor wasn’t sure what They meant. Lately, it seemed, nothing was impossible. All the scrolls had been literal, and not just inspiration toward one great miracle that may or may not be existence itself. If They said They had a god that was not so palatable, then They were probably right. The implications of a human god, which to Connor meant flawed, were chased away by her fingers, allowing and meeting his. He looked at that reciprocating touch.

And then Their new eyes. He didn’t linger with doubt, didn't think that this had gone better, softer than he’d imagined. At most he’d expected to be screaming at a wall, at most he’d hoped to perhaps spark something human in Them with a speech, most likely fueled with anger. The sadness he saw drew him in, as though he’d not stood the trials of other beginning and failing relationships before. They were new, like this, and Conner had not been prepared for it.

Sasu saw it, and though there was symmetry between them now, he was excited to see how frail it was. Some humans inventions didn’t drink up oxygen and make billowing fires until they were shaken, tested. “Oh, you little Lilith.” He said and leaned back, away from the human man slightly, in their chair. Without technological reason, the bike outside roared to life again, settling with an inviting muttering. Sasu looked as surprised as any obvious perpetrator can. "Don't forget, Angel, that some men have bigger hearts than they have eyes. You could probably fool him a thousand times with less effort. And less intent."

“I’ll take us to The Sanctum, then.” Connor promised and stood with Them. "Saoirse will be excited." An understatement.

And Connor would be quite excited too, driving the vehicle carefully, with Them holding on. The way the city had become, traffic had a greater tendency to be congested, and he was grateful the two-wheeled transportation was complimentary in the PanTech tower. He would be eager,

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Re: A rave of returning ravens
« Reply #67 on: May 29, 2016, 05:08:18 am »
He might have seen a flash of inspiration in her eyes that dripped of Ia. That goddess would have leveled this city out of love, whether for Mahu or the place itself. Her affections were a typhoon of singular destruction, awful and beautiful, and that was why she was divine. Sylphie’s brow furrowed. “I’m not attached to the place, I guess. I care for the people, though. I’ve given my life to mending this city’s broken and my soul to the service of your Followers. I don’t want to see it all undone by my own hands, if that’s not too selfish to want.” She said.

Dr. Winters was a fairly pragmatic woman, beyond all the sentiment. It seemed wiser to leave the city to its devices. Turning this concrete scar into a rich garden vein might have its appeal, but whoever survived the ideal would still be closer to Mahu than she cared for. She glanced upward. “There is proposed safety in PanTech, but I still worry about the zealots we’re keeping inside.” She tapped her foot against the ground. “I want to leave this place, but I don’t want to be seen as we go.” Sylphie said it for fear of the radicals that would follow, looking toward Mahu’s birth. Her tone rang of Ia, though, whose purpose was singularly jealous. Her sweet son would be Eou’s and her own. He was not to be shared with this ridiculous mob of dull humans.

“PanTech owns a test facility for our larger machinery on a hundred acres of land. It’s about an hour from the city limits.” Sylphie suggested. She could be near to her laboratory that way. For Eou’s sake. They had made a vine-spun palace out of the city park. Surely the test facility would offer a canvas worthy of Mahu’s cradle. She smiled softly. “It would be nice to see your craft as myself.” She added. Sylphie reached for his hand, some sudden boldness in the mother as she sought the father’s touch. Or maybe it was the goddess in her that felt entitled to his touch.

She tugged him toward her, as if she had intentions of embracing him, and then abruptly let go. More color in her cheeks. “I’m sorry, my Lord, I didn’t mean to be presumptuous.” She stumbled over an apology as she took a step back. “The test facility, as I said.” Sylphie mumbled and cast her gaze to the floor. In the coil of her heart, the thread Sasu had tied cinched a bit tighter and the priestess found herself burning under a mix of some shame and guilt, too. The latter was rather unfounded, and yet it was there. Had she searched a little deeper she might have found Xeros’ name.

“There are tunnels beneath PanTech, which connect with the city’s service and transport tunnels. They are still populated, but less so. With the popular guise, we could travel unnoticed.” Sylphie said, clearing her throat. People were simple, in the end, and saw only what suited them. The gods had arrived on the mortal plane with all the expected awe-inspiring grandeur of Heaven. Even Eou’s manmade form had been designed with an eye for a god-king aesthetic. Their fortress in the park and the wanton destruction laid by Sasu’s suggestion and Xeros’ temper had made faith easy. It would make this simple sort of subterfuge easy, as well.

“My Lord, I believe we have only days until I will be unable to carry Mahu… if Ia’s present weakness is any indication. We should make the necessary preparations and depart as quickly as—“ Sylphie winced and placed a hand to Mahu’s swell. His presence was easier to hold, with Ia’s soul receded, but his rapid growth in her human form was still unbalancing. She reached for Eou again, this time to stabilize herself.

--

The oracle scowled beneath their hat. An expression for Sasu, rather than Connor. His commentary was cruel, they thought. Then again, seeking Connor’s affection for the entertainment of Trifle was cruel as well. Perhaps it was less so, if they suffered a bit for it. Sasu was surely right. They had never perceived Connor’s affections to be anything less than sweet, and they could surely offer some simpler arrangement falsifying that sort of satisfaction. But dishonesty for the sake of simplicity was a bit more shameful than the oracle had come to terms with. If it was possible to sin morally, it seemed they would grudgingly try.

“Thank you.” They said, smiling a little for his sake. They gingerly mounted the bike behind Connor, wrapping their arms around him tightly. They had not realized how much he had grown. The oracle was a slight creature, and had been smaller than both Connor and his sister before he’d left. That difference had not grown greatly, between themself and Saoirse. Connor was another matter. They let their cheek rest against his back as he drove and, for a moment, considered that this might not be such a horrible endeavor, Sasu’s goading aside. But, then, they had not considered the matter of Saoirse quite at all. 

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Re: A rave of returning ravens
« Reply #68 on: May 29, 2016, 01:26:16 pm »
He could see, and feel Ia in the three-times divided human shell. Of course his beloved would want to see the glass and concrete turned to puffing waste. Reflective shards making a galaxy of rubble beneath the sun, until the shattered plains were too stained to recast daylight. He could work with such a ground. But it wouldn't just be building stones to his priestess. She would see this city undone as he would see mother's palace undone. For all the practicality of a god that wasn't attached to much, he had to understand at least that.

He nodded. Creation didn't need much more than a whim to move or stay. Disguises he could provide, growing, changing their skin. Surely his shape would be odd, but there was a big leap from giant to god, even in these times. If there were not orange eyes, there couldn't be a guarantee of Eou, either. "Wearing hoods, and underground, then." he agreed. He wondered if Ia stirred deeper because of his compliance. Neither of them had ever calculated the human Sylphie into their forever dance, yet here she was, mother of their child, requesting, demanding.

At first Eou did not react to her hand on his. It was common that this body wanted such attention. It was only in her hesitation and eventual halt that he remembered that it was Sylphie in the shell, now. He gave the gesture a knowing grin, but didn't comment, not even on her apology, as she continued her meaning. She spoke of logistics, but those things weren't usually Eou's problem. The scientist in her. Human magic. "There must be a way to these tunnels from here, so that we can be unseen by those who are waiting for us, now that out presence is known. "Get us sufficient robes." he ordered gently.

"And before we leave, since I realize your heart is partially here, with civilization, I'll show you something, Sylphie." He called upon the computer, that loved him, with a wave of two fingers. Images on the wall, of the park, and the city itself. The feed wasn't giving them anything special, just a city sauntering on. Eou clapped his hands together, and pollen took the air, gathering around the screens. Through the thin clouds, the images were filtered, and here and there, the city revealed to be harboring Cervidae. Their fur was blood red, some of them with black manes, all of them with black horns and feet. By the garden he'd made in the park, was a stag at least two trees tall.

"They're not harbinger's, not really. Xeros's followers. He let's them feed off World Kelp that thrives before great death. On some planets, the practice of praising Death has their aesthetic." Eou then waved his hand outward, a trail of pollen, blue, hitting an invisible creature. It was as tall as he, taller with its horns, startled, before it ran through the wall. "Your city will change profoundly." he promised as he came to her and took her hand. "I don't want you to be ill-informed, giving birth to Mahu. I thought I was protecting you, but you deserve to know at least this much. Perhaps it is nothing. Perhaps it is all the things. I think if you try you can see them. They might simply be Xeros's eyes and ears, or his bouquet of flowers, so to speak."

The computer, who had heard his question before, opened up a wall to a sterile, unkempt tunnel. A freight elevator at the end. It was necessary some goods traveled protected, through the levels of the PanTech tower. This was a particularly forgotten route. The computer lit their way. He fretted when Sylphie faltered. He caught her, of course, as it was an easy matter for him, for the body she'd updated. His hand on her belly again, this time the touch was a bit stale, asking Mahu to calm, to make things easier for Sylphie. It had as much effect as that touch would have on your common woman, bearing a common child. The god of Creation was sentimental, too. This lent some severity to her wishes.

The elevator would drop quickly, and Eou would make an disapproving face inside it. With a touch to the wall of the box, it would slow. And then he would lift his priestess up against the same wall. She was a doll compared to him, after all. A doll that had built him. "Now, I realize, in my divinity, that I've neglected you, haven't I, Sylphie Winters?" He spoke of her reaching hand before. The god of Creation was simple, too. "You share in Ia, I know. But position matters, doesn't it? You've not been tended to while you're at the surface." Ego of a god. A kiss, generous at first, and then harder at the end. "Would you like a reward for your hard work, priestess?"

All things considered, Sylphie was not in a place that she could say no. God gifts are that. No choices. And mischievous Eou locked in an elevator is something even more insistent. If it wasn't consensual to begin, he knew enough to make it so, later. And at this speed, they could have an adventure by the time they reached the underground.

Before she'd be allowed to give her answer, silence or words, the elevator stopped at a hollow level. Even Creation thought it was odd that the doors opened to the dust and the murk. Still keeping his priestess against the wall, he saw nothing but debris and an abandoned corridor leading to abandoned rooms.

Ia and Sylphie would know the architect of the stop. There stood Xeros, smiling at her, with the blush between his pale muscles and his crown well kept, tight to his head. Magenta eyes warm as he locked his arms behind his back in a regal way, stepping into the large but private box before the doors closed and the journey down continued. Eou didn't know when Xeros touched Sylphies arm, or when he leaned in to kiss her on the side of her face and nuzzle her ear. Death was a loving creature. And he'd heard Eou's proposal. "Well, Priestess of another, vessel of Ia. Would you like a reward?"

And the two gods would start at her.


-

He felt accomplished, driving them homeward. It seemed a small thing, this embrace. How else would he possibly take Them? But it meant something to Connor that Angel would attach to him like this. A point of pride, how he'd been able to speak to them, and was now going to present Them to Saoirse like he'd said. He'd offered Them a helmet from inside the large seat, and smiled inside his own as he wove through the cars. How many people had Angel ever done this with? It was a small victory, but one that made him forget the anger that had fueled him on his time away.

The third passenger on the bike made for two was rather gleeful. It is not always suitable to eat from the pot when it is mixing the flavors, and soaking the ingredients. But it can still be satisfying for a hungry mouth to know the meal is coming. He caressed Their back. "The way you carry on, it's as if you were my worshiper all along." A compliment. A spite.

Parking was easy, and no one working the company owned garage recognize Angel with Their hat on, anyway. Simply another to join the ever growing cult. "As you see. We have expanded. It is becoming something we can't control. I think Saorise hopes you can help." A bit of dreariness in him, then. Was it possible? Wasn't this all nostalgia for getting to meet Them again? He believed he'd needed to see them, but he wasn't sure They could quell the masses. He would take Their hand, but he would also accept if They didn't let him. The embrace on the bike had been out of necessity and safety, after all. He would be excited to send the message that his sister should wait in their private chambers, no matter her current task. He'd burst in first, and show Angel.

"Saoirse!" he'd say, heavy on their old accent that he'd mostly neglected. "They're here. You won't believe it. It's as though something guided me." And she would see a new spark in him, over the old shadows. Perhaps, if she wasn't hoping too much and saw clearly, which can be hard for a sister, she could also see the brittle of that happiness.

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Re: A rave of returning ravens
« Reply #69 on: May 30, 2016, 12:31:12 am »
Sylphie balanced herself after a few thick breaths, releasing her hold on Eou gingerly. Mahu, despite his efforts toward the mother’s comfort, was an unstable power in a fragile shell. For as much as Eou had needed to tend to the body, struggling to maintain opposed divinities beyond its own soul, he must have understood well. She gave him a tight lipped smile. “Sorry.” She said. It was good, though, to be present for his paternal gestures. It gave her comfort where Ia’s maternal capacities did not. She understood the goddess’ deep love for their child, but that did not make for a being apt for motherhood. Ia was precisely not that, from what Sylphie had come to learn of her soul.

“There isn’t much here, but it will do.” She shuffled toward the cabinets, a bit unsteady, to pull various blanket and dressing gowns. The blankets had been useful for the long nights she’d spent monitoring the growth of Eou’s vessel. The dressing gowns had been somewhat standard fare for a lab expecting a patient. “If we’re a bit creative, we’ll just seem homeless,” she said. It was almost comical, and a small twitch at the corner of her lips indicated the absurdity of it hadn’t been lost on her, despite the somewhat urgent timeline.

She handed him a small pile of what cloths and clothes she’d found, staring at the screens rather than his direction. “They’re beautiful,” she said, and her heart ached a little with a fondness she’d not developed of her own accord. “They don’t seem like they should be Death’s companions, in the way the Followers teach of the Dark Lord. He is entirely lifeless in those stories. Cold.” She murmured. Ia had already told Sylphie’s heart that such impressions were wrong. In his own way, Xeros was as much an attendant of life as Eou. Of course, Creation had a severe side in turn. Ia’s preference.

She was still thinking about the horned beasts when they made their way into the elevator, half garbed in the strange assortment she’d provided. Sylphie was stopped in the midst of shrugging away her lab coat when Eou began off on his new direction of attention. “Tended to, my Lord?” she asked, in the sort of innocent way that said she’d isolated herself as much as possible when Ia had been indulging herself. If she had any real inkling, her surprised gasp against his kiss was a fantastic charade.

Sylphie had, by any regular standard, endured a tremendous death by Eou’s wish and his lover’s desire. To suggest that she would have resisted him in this matter was curious, and yet there was a tender an unwilling heart that left her frozen and unresponsive. She was briefly relieved the lift stopped. It was not that Sylphie didn’t desire him. He was beautiful by her creation and half of her existence loved him more fiercely than any human woman had loved anything in all the universe. But Sylphie understood his affections were for Ia, and from that she denied herself any pleasure in his touch. To love him truly would be a cruel pretend, she was sure. And, further, Sasu’s thread shivered plaintively against Eou’s heat.

As if beckoned by her heart’s perplexing call, Xeros stood waiting as the doors open. The blue eyes grew wide. There were minds that would have found this a sincere, if base, reward for such dedicated service as that which the priestess had given her Heaven. There were others which would have felt the scene was a great fracture of and holy faith they’d held up. For Sylphie Winters, she found only the great divide of self which had been untested since Ia’s occupancy. She made a sound, of either consent or resignation, which formed into a soft sigh. Sylphie found herself eager, in parts, for the affections of both. Her mind, however, held its focus on the unexpected visitor.

By divine standards, the human will was feeble. While she had not proven herself typical, Sylphie was not exempt from weakness in the absence of Ia’s protection. The goddess had fallen peculiarly silent, her aura fading to a nearly unnoticeable hum that left Sylphie feeling starkly bare. But Ia had little to offer the priestess, unwelcome pleasure under Death’s touch equally confounding Destruction’s own heart.

--

“I serve as best I can.” The oracle muttered into their helmet for Sasu to hear. “You have no concept of pity, do you?” They fell silent as the bike roared near to the PanTech tower. Perhaps they should reconsider. The oracle hadn’t the slightest what to do with Saoirse. If Connor deserved anything from them, surely Saoirse and her constant dedication deserved more. As if their charade counted as any sort of reward.

They stepped off the bike and took Connor’s hand, because they ought to commit to their behavior if they were venture down this kind of road. “I’m no more capable than anyone else in the Sanctum, when it comes to these matters. But, I suppose I should try. It’s misplaced authority, though, you know. Particularly when Heaven itself is walking this planet.” They said to him. There was that tiredness again. A perpetual state, existing in the sanctum. The influx of Followers had only made it worse.

The oracle grew grimmer as they made their way down the halls. They had no real desire to see the siblings together. Not with Sasu’s task, which they had certainly agreed to. There could not have been much other meaning in going to seek out the god, otherwise. But the oracle had not had any other leverage.

Saoirse looked up from a ledger she’d been working on, cataloguing the applications of new acolytes. It seemed to be a trendy occupation, these days. “Connor! Oracle!” a sincere look of relief that made the oracle’s stomach turn. Saoirse was a good girl. She was giving her brother a broad smile, which the oracle was certain must have held some relation to their return with him. Would she be content if she knew the oracle’s intention? They had seen the way the girl had grown colder in the presence of Sylphie. Some misplaced jealousy tinged with the sadness of a young and unrequited love.

For her part, Saoirse was happy to see Connor smile as he stood beside the oracle. She had come to terms with being without the oracle’s affections because she was certain there was no other, save the old high priestess, that might have captured them. If Connor’s own happiness was so paper thin, she did not see it because she had not yet recognized it in herself. 

Verse

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Re: A rave of returning ravens
« Reply #70 on: May 30, 2016, 08:12:56 pm »
Eou heard the sigh, and took it as it sounded, with softness, inviting. He had no thought that would lead him to suspect there was another in this already crowded, moving room. Her clothes were intentionally haphazard. There was no dirt in the genesis room, so there was nothing to smudge the fabric of the robes, but their state, their combination, should be enough to suggest wayward wearers. What a conflicting scene, the human woman, new from Eou’s constant creation, and himself, the sculpted god body, dressed in lowly fabric. He kissed her sighing mouth carefully first, a care he’d not extend to his immortal sister. Ia and Eou knew each other well enough to be rough. His hands up her thighs of her legs that he’d belted himself with, pushing her higher against the wall.

Xeros laughed dearly in her ear as the man-god tried her lips. “Can you feel yourself loving me?” he asked. The breath was scorching, the way only eternity can scorch. He collected her arms instead, and lifted them, crossing her wrists to keep them against the cold steel. The large sleeves of her robes would slide down, offering the opening he sought, so he could wander two long fingers in, and cup one of her softnessess as he continued to tend to her ear. Death’s mouth is hot, did you know?

Eou in turn, from whatever her reaction was to Xeros’s attention, would interpret it as him doing splendidly himself. Kisses on her neck, where her pulse was multiplying it’s activity. Life there, a river of it. He could lament on such a thing and close his eyes to listen with his lips, and pin her harder with his body.

With Eou’s eyes closed, Death felt free to run fingers through her hair, leaving her orb to dishevel her. He bent over the two easily, his size far surpassing the peak human height she’d given Eou, to lock onto her mouth in the wake of Creation’s kiss. Eou parted her theatrically dull clothes as Xeros ate the sounds she made, still controlling her hands.

When Creation spun her around, away from the wall, Death peeled the fabric off her shoulders. Eou took it as enthusiasm, and did his work while Xeros played with teeth and lips on her spine, locking her wrists again, low on her back, exposing her to Eou, who still had her legs tied around him.

It would be a suffering for Sylphie, who was already sharing herself with Mahu and Destruction, to travel down to contemporary catacombs with Death and Creation on either side of her, one drawing her breaths and one eating them. At the end, the final jerk to broadcast through the thick of rumble, there might not be much left of the human.

-

Connor did not want Angel to perform any kind of deceit. But what authority did they have now, but for that which was derived, no matter how water-down, from divinity? Angel was closest, now that the known priestess turned vessel for the first hero of this generation had gone with Eou. People were listening to his sister simply because of her connection to The Oracle. Surely The Oracle themselves could carry a tone that would calm them, and make them hear reason, if only to strengthen Saoirse in their eyes. The goal had to be that, so his sister could quell them, and teach scripture to them calmly, the way he and her had known the faith. “It’ll be a shot in the dark. But darkness is all we have, these days.” He answered with a sincere belief to the romantic, grey sentiment.

Sasu was the same size as he’d been in the café chair, looking from brother to sister, and then lastly at Them, in the simple room. He’d kept Their question in the air from when They’d spoken it in Their helmet. “You know. I might have pity for these two, once you’re done.” He said with chipper in his double voice.

“The Oracle has expressed concern, and I have to say I agree a bit.” Connor started. He looked the Them realizing his hand was still around Theirs. He let go softly, having to, and came closer to his sister. “The crowd might not listen. The new acolytes are sensationalists, aren’t they?” he had little respect for the followers, a distaste he still held from the life he’d tried to lead, away from Ryll’s faith. “And the older ones have seen Death in the flesh.” How was he to know that the decree by the ports of PanTech had been spoken by a celestial imposter. He sat down in the meager bed Saoirse rested in, when she was given the time.

A sigh through is nostrils. “But the Oracle has agreed to try.” His shoulders lowered with the next exhale, his frown turning to a line, a light formation of his lips as he looked from Angel to his sister. He might not say it yet, too much of his resolve to hate still smarting, as it had pretended to dissolve so suddenly. He meant to tell Saoirse without words, as though their joined entrance had not been enough, that there was some kind of peace here, after all, and that she had been right. “Maybe we could give Them an audience? The cult is growing so fast. This could be its stability, if we move forward steadily.”

In the mythos, one of Eou’s fates was to overgrow the world, putting it in a perpetual state of life, and there for no life at all. It was hard not to see likenesses with the expansions of Ryll’s cult, now.

Connor did not think of that for long, looking at the Oracle inside the sanctum. His heart was already betraying him, and the lessons it had learned, rewriting the cautious words Angel had picked over still hot coffee. Sasu’s eyes tightened with the pleasurable conflict the boy was emitting.

VenomousEve

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Re: A rave of returning ravens
« Reply #71 on: June 02, 2016, 06:01:42 am »
Sylphie was not elegant, with Mahu’s round encumbering her. It was good that Eou was purposeful, then, because she would not have otherwise held her own in the midst of his affections. She was also fortunate that he had the mind to treat her more gently than the way he carried on with his goddess sister. Sylphie Winters would surely not have survived the shock of that full encounter without Ia’s heart to absorb and reflect such lust.

Creation was a pleasing being and, had she been less sentimental, she could have enjoyed him for his actions alone. Sylphie’s heart had remained tender while her mind had grown knowledgeable, though. In the context of self, she could not remove emotional attachments from bodily stimulation. It was a bit safer left intertwined. Under that premise, though, she was left glowing for a different god. Eou’s touch registered distinctly beneath Xeros’ attention. She had not put a name to that clenching want in her chest. Sylphie, and Ia, had not wanted to. Xeros cut it free. To love Death would have been a fabulous irony had she not already given herself to the resurrection of Decay.

She was delightfully pliable, but it would have been odd to expect anything else. The oracle had predicted some measure of reconciliation between Death and Creation. Whether sharing in burning away the poor priestess qualified as such an action was debatable, but it was closer than the gods had cared to be in several eternities. Maybe it was unfair that Eou was unaware. Sylphie did not have the presence of mind to tell him. Instead, she bent for Xeros and appeared to sway for Eou. A terrible trick. But they were both wolves and she could not, truthfully, have been held responsible for the impressions she left on either of them.

Perhaps they found her gasps and little cries enjoyable. For her part, she was fully overwhelmed. Drowning in the pressure of four gods, pulled at every edge until Sylphie was deeply unsure of what was her own. If there had ever been a human owned, it was she. The servant oracles of the ages could have never held a candle to that stirred wildfire. She trembled and peaked but found no respite and, in the fullness of it she called out desperately for that beast that had stolen her heart. “Xeros!” and she was immediately afraid.

Servant of Eou, ensnared by the forever pursuer of the goddess she harbored. She had become Ia’s greatest trap. Both goddess and priestess understood it then and hated it. And yet it was thrilling. Ia’s soul quivered in some twisted anticipation. To invite Creation’s anger was to ask for a cataclysm. Ia had weathered those storms before and basked in the broken.

--

The oracle sighed. For Connor’s impossibly optimistic hope and Sasu’s apparent amusement. They wondered, briefly, if Sylphie had found some greater peace in the harbor of Ia’s possession. Surely it must be a bit simpler than juggling this sort of ridiculous drama. A multi-level puppet show, really, and the oracle was sure the strings must all tangle eventually. “Maybe it’s not pity but love you’ve not learned, then,” they muttered under their breath while Saoirse was speaking.

“Did you say something, Oracle?” the girl asked and the oracle shook their head. Saoirse listened to her brother instead. He was right, of course, though she felt unsettled by the way he said it. As if he could speak for the oracle now. She had not had perfectly pure intentions for calling the oracle back, though, and her selfishness was not even fully entrenched in her sentiments for Angel. The growing stress on the cult was evident, and she hadn’t the confidence to face it head on, alone. The oracle was strong, though. Saoirse was quite sure of it. If there was any hope in restoring order to the cult, and the city, she was positive it would be under the oracle’s direction. But then, Saoirse, more than anyone else, had romanticized them. Regardless, she resolved to present confidently.

“If the oracle will try, that’s all we can ask for. I think you’re right. We’ll need to build it up though, from the inside. Rumors seem to be the only things catching fire now. Anything we try to teach lacks the fantastic the new Followers are seeking.” She studied her brother’s face. He must have resolved enough, she thought, to be happy for him. And if not be happy for whatever healing he might find now, she could breathe easy on some united front. She was happy she was not alone.

She looked eagerly back at the oracle. There, that unfaltering hope to please. “What do you think?” she asked. The oracle nodded slowly.

“I can’t say I like the idea, but you’re assessing the situation correctly, I think.” They smiled, tight lipped. “I’m glad to have the two of you assisting in this, at least.” They said. Saoirse nodded quickly.

“I feel the exact same way. This will be difficult, but with Connor and I backing you up, I’m sure you can fix anything that comes our way.” She said, reaching out to touch the oracle’s shoulder. Saoirse blushed at her own boldness, but she’d felt unexpectedly relieved at the oracle’s approval. She felt a bit childish suddenly. A glance at her brother and an odd furrow of her brow. There was the start of some emotion there that she hadn’t anticipated. Saoirse was not unaware of the same change in the oracle Connor had witnessed. It had given flare to those small hidden hopes she’d been nursing. She wanted to be perfectly happy for her brother’s reconciliation, but she was flawed.

Verse

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Re: A rave of returning ravens
« Reply #72 on: June 02, 2016, 08:29:14 pm »
As he was enjoying himself the most, loving against Ia through Sylphie, a well-tasting, new course, he heard it. If there was an enemy for Eou now, would it be Death, more so than Ia’s condition. The caresses he provided, inside and on her skin, halted abruptly, without retreat. At this point in their tangle, he’d lifted her to the wall again, his chest to her back, her cheek to the steel surface. He kept her palms against the same steel, to leave her ready, defenseless for his hungry whims. In that silver she’d be able to see his orange reflected and his jaw fortified for the anger she conjured. A complaint of metal as his pressing mouth tried to ruin itself. Those eyes would flake slowly - she could see it even through the fog-cover on the mirror she was pinned to - and break apart into the clear flesh of the orbs in his sockets. Slowly undone heavenly twin bodies, loosing themselves in the softest way to space. There would be nothing left to pad the endless night of his pupils but orange debris.

“Xeros is not the name of Creation, Priestess Winters.” He said with a new set of voices in her ear. His hips slid back, and then pushed forward hard, once. A barbaric kind of revenge, or a taste of it, at least. If Mahu was hurt, could be hurt, the father didn’t care at that moment. “But that is the nature of your kind, isn’t it?” The voices were mixing, becoming heavier, the tones falling off the bone of the rhythm, devolving. From between the eyes and their lids, hair-girth roots grew, reaching out for her. From between his clenched teeth and the red of his mouth, as well, until those fine tentacles coiled and invaded her ear, and crowded the surface of her own eye. But his vengeance, no matter how macabre the cosmetics, carried pleasure, not harshness. A simple enzyme that told her brain she was being satisfied poured from an artificial contraption in him that he’d accessed and overwritten. The flow of pleasure, the prolonged height of climax, turning the aria to a long-winded tragic, is its own torture. He added the drumbeat of his own body.

“Say it again.” Creation challenged, the voices splintered, the voicebox hurt. There was nothing gentle with the pleasure. More fibers slithered from his skin to reach into hers. With her back turned, he could invade between the levels of her spine, leaving bands of needle marks, to get into the main road of her sensory network. “If you want him, here he might be. Pray to him, then.” He hissed before catching her nape between teeth, so the micro roots could start spreading in her blood ways, as well. It was a horrendous thing, to fill her with rapture, like this.

“Say it again.” Xeros whispered in her ear. This was his fault, but he was enjoying the outcome. If this human was unmade by the storm of Eou’s admittedly creative onslaught, perhaps some of this would reach and flatter Ia. After all, if Sylphie should die from this love-light love making, the part of their contract that benefited Xeros would come. Eou might be scorned by Sylphie’s call, but he still cared deeply for her if he didn’t overgrow her skin like he had on the throw-away acolyte – Xeros, however, only cared for Sylphie’s onboard guest, and it wasn’t Mahu. “Say it and I’ll say your name back.” He did know the nature of the string that had now given him an advantage, though.

-

Connor was quite impressed with his sister's plan to poison the crowd against itself, with little whispers here and there. It was whispers, after all, that had now become roars, the problem itself, if the coming gods did not count. Because surely a god cannot be a problem. For the sake of the conversation, he had taken a step back. It was to let Saoirse see Them fully, as well as giving Them space to breathe. He was a proud brother, today, he knew he’d done a good enough job. It had not taken him long to find their Oracle. Now he was a sibling, boastfully holding out some treasure he’d required from the outside. Connor did not see when Sasu chuckled between them. The hubris in men.

The satisfaction Conner felt was challenged by Saoirse’s continued success to speak with Angel. At first, he had to think it was innocent, looking from one to the other, but with the hand, some familiar anxiety watered down by anger returned to his chest. Sasu held his black mouth as some of the temper Angel had seen in the café was resurrected from its shallow rest. This time, though, it was not aimed toward The Oracle. The god looked at Them with a meaning expression. Connor relaxed his balled fists and moved closer, again.

“You should go and start the process, then, Saoirse.” He insisted, reaching in to court Angel’s hand. It would not seem as much of an offer as before. “I’ll make The Oracle at home again.”

Sasu was about to comment on the lovely, childish scene for Angel’s ears when his attention suddenly turned to the undoing of Sylphie Winters. It was a well tasting, full scene. The poor woman was perhaps more personification of Friction himself, rather than any other god she’d been infused with and tied to. He grinned at The Oracle, letting Them see glee but nothing else. Would Their vision let Them know Their friend was being infected, violated by pleasure? She’d become a matter of Heaven, after all, it was not impossible that her happenings made ripples large enough that they would register with Angel.

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Re: A rave of returning ravens
« Reply #73 on: June 10, 2016, 03:49:30 am »
Gods are mostly godly when they are terrible. Humanity’s proclivity toward greed and a swollen egos turns divine benevolence into self-congratulatory power. A god’s kindness bring man closer to their god. A god’s wrath buries a man in his smallness and extends the divine upward. Humans find their faith in the quaking fear of cataclysm. So Ia tasted her brother’s godliness as it burned in the back of Sylphine Winters’ throat. The goddess’s aura coiled and moved in flux, tremoring as Sylphie shuddered. Her blues reflected violet in the cool metal of the elevator.

Without her direct guidance, Ia’s power channeled through the priestess in a directionless frenzy. The elevator groaned and shuddered to a stop, half way between the basement 3 and 4 levels. Peculiar rusts formed against her cheek on the metal, an alloy that should have been immune to such a chemical reaction. His voice was venom and the echo of his amber eyes flaked fire. Sylphie tasted pain with her pleasure.

She struggled to free her hands, hoping to guard the swell of her child as she met the wall of the elevator roughly and again. Ia could not give the human body inhuman strength, which Sylphie herself had programmed into Eou’s tendons. The goddess would not have helped if she’d had the power, anyway. This sort of powerlessness was new and made her ache, as if it were the first time she’d touched Eou.

The twins had swung in balance, always moving toward each other on either end of the pendulum. Ia had exerted force to feel Eou’s return. His pressure had magnetized her. Imbalance without hope of repair, thrown askew by this body, excited her. For a moment, she forgot about the son she had stolen too, and surged to the surface of Sylphie’s mind to overwhelm the priestess’s consciousness. Sylphie was not unseated, though, and it was an odd and mingled voice that gasped and moaned and whimpered. Her cheeks were wet with overwhelmed tears.

There was feedback along the little roots Eou put out, Ia’s ravenous decay eating along the fibers to return and share the sensation he wrought. If Ia should split in agony of her ecstacy, he should tremble also. “Xeros.” Defiant, because she was destruction, and laced with Sylphie’s wanton desire. Laughter bubbling along with her cries. The elevator groaned as the electromagnets failed and the secondary suspension system, old metal cables, twanged in tension.

“Eou! Eou! Xeros!” she wailed and it was Ia and Sylphie in an eerie duet. The elevator cables stretched and the car shuddered downward several inches and then dropped as they snapped, infected with Ia’s rust. They had been only half a floor from their destination, the bottom of the shaft, and the fall was startling but nothing to injure any of the godly passengers. Sylphie’s knees did buckle and she collapsed back against Eou’s chest, saved from greater harm by his hold on her hands against the wall. “My Lord, I beg you,” she gasped out, a momentary clarity in Sylphie’s mind. “Mahu—“her voice broke to Ia’s shuddering sighs. If there were a being in the world to relish this torture it was Decay at the hands of her brother. Death was an unexpectedly intriguing side note to the onslaught of fear and pleasure, made sweeter by Sylphie’s unsettling an unquenchable ache for his affection.

--

The oracle saw nothing. Not because Sylphie’s echoes had not touched the Sight, but because they were distracted from the subtle shifts there for the first time in many years. Connor had taken their hand and Saoirse had not moved, hand still placed against their shoulder.

Saoirse’s stare hardened briefly, stiffened by her brother’s action. She had not expected to feel so combative. Surely Connor was only concerned. He had been so angry at Angel when he’d left, she was sure he must not be honestly considering pursuing them again. Even if Saoirse was sure he could tell, just as she, that the Oracle had changed. She gave him a confused smile. “Of course. I should announce that the oracle has returned, formally… from a pilgrimage. We’ll start from there. By tomorrow morning they’ll be saying that the oracle walked to heaven and back, with the way they exaggerate.” She said, half-joking, and let her hand dropped.

Saoirse nodded to herself. She had loved the oracle the same way, all this time, and found her comfort in being dutiful. The oracle had always appreciated how hard Saoirse worked. She knew that. It wasn’t going to change, just because Connor was back. That would be petty and selfish. Saoirse wanted to believe she was better than that.

The oracle wished they’d not put in Sasu’s gem eyes. Watching the play of doubt and grim resolution on Saoirse’s features saddened them. They had no desire to hurt her. They watched as she left, a little hesitant, and tried to give her a genuine smile when she looked back over her shoulder. It made the oracle feel dirtier when Saoirse’s eyes lit up at the feeble gesture. Had they always been cruel and simply not acknowledged it?

When Saoirse left, the oracle swallowed back the sour taste in their mouth and lightly squeezed Connor’s hand. “Thank you for helping me. And her.” They said.

There was likely no reason to continue down this path. Sylphie had been taken by a cadre of gods and it was unlikely Trifle would pull the priestess any thinner. But, then, they were unwilling to dismiss the possible chaos of his boredom. Besides, he might go back to spreading Death’s wicked and wild cult if they didn’t offer a good show. Perhaps it was hubris to think they could fill the space of a thousand crowing cultists. And then, there was that small inkling that they had no other to serve and no other purpose but to serve. The oracle pushed on grimly, accepting there was a vile selfishness in doing so.

“I hadn’t realized how much I missed having you here. I hope you can forgive me for that.” They said. It was true that the siblings had offered constant and quiet companionship and aid while Connor had been with them. If Saoirse was not in attendance, he was. When they could, they were both there. The oracle had once commented to Sylphie that it was a bit intrusive. Sylphie had said they were lying and were only saying it to sound isolated and austere. The oracle had not bothered to disagree.