2019-04-07 - Ancient Theology


Hod visits Jean to answer a few questions.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Apr 7 02:29:47 2019
Location: Westchester

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As if it were magic, because… lets be honest it prolly is, Hod is standing at Jean's right elbow. There's no real warning it was gonna happen, not real sign he was coming, but there he is. Just. There. Cane swinging before him, tapping slowly side to side as he falls into step beside Jean, "So." he says conversationally, "What sort of ice cream joint does this tiny little po-dunk down have? Cause I think I owe you a sunday." he holds a hand about waist high, "Prolly 'bout this big?"

Jean came into town to pick up a few things at the grocery store for cooking over a campfire, though she hasn't made it there yet. When Hod materializes at her elbow, she jumps, stifling a curse word as a shadow of that wave of force that came from her at the museum lashes out again. This one she catches more quickly, so that it's just a light shove before it dissipates.

"Okay, we should really set some ground rules," she says once she's caught her breath, holding a hand over her chest and giving him a long, speculative look. "But yeah. I remember being promised ice cream. Conveniently there is an ice cream parlor here in town."

She leads the way toward said shop, a cute little place that looks like it's been there since the 50s. "How're you holding up?"

Hod reaches up and taps the side of his nose, "I know there is," he ignores the sudden 'wind' the blew his wavy hair from his sunglassed eyes and whiped his jacket about for a moment, "I can smell it. I was mostly asking if it was any good." he moves to follow her as she turns, without needing to be guided to do so. "Holding up? I'm paranoid, borderline panic stricken, very likely going to be murdered to death by people that know how, and have decided that despite all that I'm going to go poke a god of wisdom and darkness in the nose and tell him he's being a bad boy." he lets out a slow breath, "So you know. Had better weeks." pause. "You? Holding up okay?"

"Me? Sure. Not my first rodeo." Well. It's not Jean's first rodeo with weird stuff, but it is her first outing with gods. "I mean, I also wasn't personally targetted for it, which is both new and nice for a change. Probably less great for you though."

Despite her light tone, it's clear that the experience has made Jean think about a few things. "For what it's worth, I'll try not to let anyone murder you to death, however it's done. I'm generally against that sort of thing."

There's a litle ding from a bell at the door when they walk into the ice cream shop, where it's fairly quiet given that there's still a slight chill in the air on this spring day. A teenager peeks out from the back room, making sure it's actually a customer.

Hod follows Jean in, being perfectly okay with letting her take the lead. That's what a volenteer meat shield does right? Stand in front of stuff? That how he remembers it anyway, "Meh. I'm used to it honestly, which is really pretty sad when I say it aloud." her promise to help keep him safe has him smirking, "I like you girl. You're adoreable. I mean, I'll take the help, I'm not an idiot, but there's a very good chance there will be killing in general. As a rule. We run old school in my circles, and mercy is the sort of thing that starts millenial long blood fueds and wars with the sorts of people who carry natural disasters in their jean pockets."

He offers a bit of a wave at the store's insides and rests his free hand on Jean's elbow again, once more playing the dottering blind hipster the instant he senses a witness.

"Honestly?" Jean starts to say something, then instead walks up to the counter, flashing a polite smile toward the teenager manning it. "Hey there. Do you guys have the dark chocolate peanut butter today? Because I could for sure go for some of that." The teenager nods half-heartedly, asking for the details on sizes. "I'll have two scoops in a cup, please. You want anything?"

She'll pause long enough for Hod to order, then once the teenager is busy, she continues in a lower tone. "I've spent a lot of my life afraid of what I might do with my powers. If these people carry natural disasters in their pockets, then at least I don't have to worry about seriously hurting them. It's a relief."

Hod moves along with his 'guide', and smiles at a spave above and to the side of the teen's head, "I'll have mint chocolate chip, two scoops, waffle cone." he says almost cheerfully, "Ice cream is one of man's greatest inventions, and I mean that literally. People always talk about sliced bread like it was a big deal. Fuck that. Mint and chocolate in frozen milk and served to me in a portable sugary pastry. Ellegance personified."

Hod lifts his hand to waffle it at her a bit, "So there in lies the rub. It's one thing to /defeat/ one of us if you're one of you, it's another to end one. That's how plagues and famines start. If anyone is going to make with the final solution it'll be me. Keep you guilt free, and limit any flak that might be flung your direction in general. I mean, I get a feeling my life's about to get way more interesting and it'd be nice to have a meat sheild willing to stand in front of me for a good bit of it." he flashes her a grin to show he's kidding. Right? That's what the grin was for… surely…

"That's so sweet," Jean smirks, setting a hand on his shoulder. "You think I'm a meat shield. I'm the squishy one. I can introduce you to some meat shields if you want." Once the ice cream is ready, she heads over to the register and looks to Hod. "You've got this, right?" Innocent smile.

"Speaking of which, I've heard a lot of names at this point. Which one do you prefer?"

Hod smirks and is already holding a twenty dollar bill between his fingers when she turns to ask him. He holds it out in the general direction of the cashier, though a bit to one side forcing the teen to leeeeeeeeeeean for it. His smirk remains in place inexplicably, "Sorry." he mutters to the kid and waves away any attempt at getting change, "Shit jobs should pay more kid, keep it."

He feels about in the air before getting his cone and then once again touches her arm, letting her guide him again, "Hod." he answers after a long moment, "Hod will do just fine. It's not my actual name, more like a nick name, but my real name comes with unfortunate pop culture references that are just a pain in the ass to deal with, so Hod is fine." he pronounces it like Ode, not Odd, and there's an accent on it that only someone looking for it would catch.

"Hod it is," Jean nods, taking a spoon from the cup by the register and leading the way over to a booth out of the way. The teenager seems perfectly happy to go back to the back room, having no interest in the customers outside of getting paid. The people in this town are all just weird.

Jean starts in on her ice cream, not too proud to admit it's a worthwhile bribe. "So. What's the whole story, then? With you, and the rest of Asgard, and why would an Egyptian god be coming after you anyhow?"

Hod takes a seat, and once the kids gone, drops a lot of the pretense of being blind. Oh, he still feels about for the back of the booth, slides into it a bit carefully, tucks his cane in first, but it's all so graceful and fluid he might be sighted if one didn't know better, "We don't have time for the whole story kid. It's a /very/ long one." he 'looks' at her over the top of his ice cream cone and starts to lick at it tenatively. A blind man with a beard and an ice cream cone, caution is required, "But I'll answer what questions you have if you want to ask them. Seems… fair." he shrugs, "And I can at least be that."

"There's a summary version, I'm sure," Jean drawls. "Like, the cliffs notes or something. My Norse mythology is not great, which means I know who's the boss and that's mostly it really, so…Who's after whom an why? Let's start with that. All questions of deity aside, I guess that's what I'd ask if it were any other situation."

Hod purses his lips for a bit as he considers the question, "That's … complicated. Cliff notes." he sighs, "How complicated is your relationship with your family?" he asks suddenly, "Just, in general I mean. If someone were to ask you to explain a fight between you and a sibling, would you be able to explain /why/ you were duking it out over something that, objectively, was stupid but to you two had infinite layers of meaning and years of built up emotional baggage?" he asks.

He waves the question away, "Of course not, family, whether your born in it or pick your own, is complicated, layered, and nuianced. Now. Imagine that, but compound it by centuries, magic, and the knowledge that you are supposed to be the embodiment of a thing or a few things, the manifestation of something to better guide others through or to that thing you are in," he pauses to air quote with his hands, "'charge' of." he lets out a long sigh. "It's complicated. So so so complicated." more licking at the ice cream. "I'm sorry. That was unfair. And bullshit. It's simple and I'm equivicating. They all want to kill me." he says simply, "Because I'm going to destroy the nine Realms and bring about the apocalypse." lick. "Except my brother. He's… well he's cool."

"I don't have any real siblings," Jean notes, poking at her ice cream. "But yeah, I get it. I basically grew up at the school we all went to and…yeah, I get complicated." The 'end of the world' part gives her a moment of pause, but even that she takes in stride, nodding once. "I can see where that would make things complicated, too. And why you wouldn't want to talk about it. Aaaaand why people would be weird about it," she adds, grimacing.

"Your brother is cool, which is good. But you said before that you don't really spend a lot of time around your family. So…either you're protecting him, or things got too hard to keep up with everyone else making it extra weird," she guesses, watching him.

Hod snorts, "They're all unrepentant douchecanoes." he says flatly, "Except Baldur. Assume anything I say, doesn't include him. You meet him one day you'll understand. He's like a human shaped pile of puppies that wanna hug you and is stupidly good looking. Or so I'm told. Repeatedly." he gives up on dainty licks and just digs in, beard be damned. And it is. Damned. Damned to carry bits of green melty ice cream in it as he continues.

"My father is the worst kind of omnipotent iron fisted cockweasel. One prophecy about my ending everything and poof, I'm sent here to die." he points his ice cream at her, "And it wasn't into the warm and fuzzy heart of the loving modern age he dropped my blind crippled ass either. The Peloponnesian war was a fucking mess." he makes a face. "And here I've hid ever since, trying /very/ hard to not draw the attention of any walking phallus measuring pediculous fuckstick with a hammer who feels he has something to prove to Dad." he 'glances' back her way, "And we decide it's a great time to run into Sif randomly in a mueseum." he says flatly. "So now they all know I'm still alive. And now you've come full circle…. well. Cliff notes. Seriously hard cliff notes."

"You, sir, have a gift with words. Are you a god of poetry?" Jean smirks a bit, making exactly no comment on the state of his beard. She doesn't really wait for an answer to that either. "I did see Baldur once. But there was a semi-sentient blob of cheese taking over the best pizza place in town, so there wasn't really time to talk. And then he and Ant-Man ran off to catch it while I got the very glamorous job of pulling cheese out of an employee's lungs."

She levels a steady eye on him, reading not just his features and his words, but the emotions in him. While her telepathic powers might not always be the best, empathy is second nature to her. "So. Family issues. I get that. We've got a few of our own like that too." She falls silent for a moment, thinking of Raven. "It's not great for anyone. But that still doesn't explain why an Egyptain god would care at all about it, does it? I mean, it seems like there are an awful lot of pantheons out there, and no one seems to be running out of their particular sort of power, so what would they get out of making it look like you were making some sort of move?"

Hod doesn't move for a long moment before answering her question just like he said he would, "Darkness, winter, and the hidden ways." he says, but he speaks the words softly as if more to himself then to her and it's hard to catch all of them clearly if you're not specicially listening for them. Emotionally he's… in turmoil. There's to much to gather, to sort through. Not in variety, but in quantity. What he feels has built for thousands of years, it's depth and darkn-

And it's gone. Just. Gone. Poof. And he's looking right at her, as if he could see her. See through her. "You don't want what's in there." he says, and he's not whispering these words. "Trust me kid, some weights aren't meant for mortal souls to bare." and he returns to his ice cream with a slurpy noise, which somehow breaks the looming spell of the touch of his emotions. At least a little. "I don't think it was intentional." he says, coming back around to the topic at hand, "I mean sure, I'm a /great/ scapegoat, but I've buried myself well, /very/ well. Trust me, I don't wanna be found, no one finds me. So honestly I don't know. Could be really shitty coincidence, I mean, we gods of darkness aren't really portrayed as the greatest of guys, but Thoth's one of the better ones. This is all out of character for him. Makes me wonder what's really going on, feels so… obvious. For lack of a better term. Only way to find out is poke Thoth with a stick and see what oozes out."

Jean doesn't press when he locks things away, all too familiar with the gravity of even simple human feelings. Some things are better left undisturbed. "I thought Set was the god of darkness for the Egyptians," she admits, wrinkling her nose. "I thought Thoth was knowledge and stuff like that. But then, Egyptians. Everything's got something to do with death." She stabs at her ice cream with her spoon, digging out a vein of peanut butter from the chocolate.

"So you're going to take a chance on going after a god from another pantheon who probably still has friends to help him because he or someone who might or might not be using him decided to pick a fight with your brother, who's about the only thing worthwhile in your very long, very sad life," she summarizes, lips twisting as she weighs it out. Finally, she nods. "Sounds fair."

Hod shakes his head, "This is what public school has lead to." he says tsking softly, "Thoth is the god of darkness, the moon, and wisdom. Hell, the histories don't even agree on /my/ name, though that was mostly intentional on my part. Muddy that water as best I could. Set's more about chaos and violence and sand storms and the like. He's entropy more or less. Modern people are big on attributing darkness to chaos, but that's really not the way it ever was. Except maybe with the Japanese, but it's best not to talk about that guy. He's just… he's the worst."

"Hey, I didn't go to public school. We just, you know. Had how to use your powers and how to avoid giant killer robots electives instead of ancient theology," Jean wrinkles her nose, making a face that he hopefully can't entirely see. He can probably sense it though. Flip side of empathy: Jean is not always good at not projecting.

"Ancient," she echoes, as if to at least make a point of calling him old. "Okay. So. I mean, the guys we talked to at the museum were mages of some sort, but they were basically minions. I get the feeling that a god of wisdom is probably not going to fall for some psychic parlor tricks."

Hod snorts, "Those weren't mages, I mean, not enough to actually claim the title. They were more like… hedge witches or claiments to some lingering religious power. Limited amateus with enough knowledge to get into deep and dangerous waters, but unlikely to cause harm /intentionally/. Which might be worse." shrug.

"And you're right. Thoth pretty much can see through lies, it's part and parcel of his whole gig. But there's a difference between lying and misleading, if it were up to me I'd bring Loki, he's fucking /fantastic/ at this shit. I'll see what I can do, have him tag along with us, but can't count on him. For anything. /Trust/ me." there's a flicker of anger there, but also something softer, almost regretful before it's clamped back down, "I have some more research to do, getting to Thoth shouldn't be impossible, I just wanna make sure we don't take a path that leads us past mythical monsters or anything. I'm seeking out heros or villains or crazy people silly enough to come with us, numbers are good, which adds up to a busy Hod."

"Or into or out of the underworld or whatever land of the dead applies here. That never ends well for anyone," Jean points out, scraping the last of the ice cream out of her bowl. "I've got some friends who might be able to help. Depending on what's useful. Doug speaks and understands everything. I mean, I feel like if nothing else, that would distract the crap out of a god of knowledge. They'd probably geek out at each other long enough to do just about anything. And Scott would come if I asked. Offensive. Concussive blasts from his eyes. Also just really good in the field."

She pauses, the openness in her features closing off as she falls silent for a moment. "And, you know," she continues, though it's almost half-hearted. "If Scott comes, Zee would probably come. She does magic. Definitely not like the guys at the museum though. Way less…scientific."

Hod lifts a finger, "I speak and understand every language," he says flatly, "so does Thoth, it's actually pretty common among the pantheons, otherwise you have a hard time collecting followers." he shrugs, "Sorry. Laser eyes might be fine," he says with a thoughtful look, "maybe. But I'm not sure what it'll mean to Thoth if I take a guy into the the god of darknesses house who shoots concentrated light from his eyeballs. Give that some thought. And a magic user?" he hisses, "Thoth is also the Egyptian god of magic. So. That could be really really bad, or really really good. But if it's bad, it'll be BAD." he makes a face, "Plus, I'm trying to lay low here, so how about we stop dropping my name around magic people if we could. I wasn't kidding about Thor god of Fucksticks showing up to turn me into Aesir shaped pudding if he finds me." there's a flicker of fear there, real fear, deep and old fear.

"First of all, it's not lasers, it's concussive force. It looks like lasers, and the ruby quartz helps-" Jean stops herself, raising a hand to her temple and shaking her head. "God, I'm actively turning into Scott. I just can't." The hand at her temple scrubs over her face instead, and she distracts herself by tugging a few napkins out of the dispenser and offering them over to Hod. "You've got some serious ice cream beard going on."

"All right. So that's a no on the magic, because Scott would probably never forgive me if I got his girlfriend killed. Also I would feel bad." That may or may not be secondary, she doesn't sound like she's sure herself.

Hod waves his hand aroudn until he finds the napkins and starts wiping at his face before snorting softly, "Sure you would kid. Sure you would. I can see that torch you're carrying from here and I'm fucking blind. That's a problem for another day though. So no magic lady, lets leave the language guy out of it, if only so that I don't have to feel bad about another mortal potentially getting squished. I … I might be able to snag a Valkyrie to our side. But that's tremulous and there's a 50/50 shot she'll try to kill me. Maybe 70/30. We'll see." he takes a deep breath, "It's not much, but it's /starting/ to sound like it could be something."

"Oh hey, I know a Valkyrie! She just enrolled a couple weeks ago. And she's not actually Asgardian, so I feel like chances of her wanting to murder you are probably reduced." Jean, ever helpful. And very glad to move on to a topic that isn't Scott Summers. "She has a flying horse, even. I mean, I don't know for sure how useful that would be, but it seems like the sort of thing that could come in handy. Logan would probably be willing," she adds, considering. "I don't know for sure and I don't think I really know him well enough to put someone else's success on the line for it though.

Hod stills a bit, "Indian girl? Young? Way to hopeful and generally perky to be taken seriously for a Choser of the Slain?" he asks curiously.

"I mean, I don't know about the last part because no one's ever shown me the want ad for valkyries, and also it's native american now, old racist man, but yeah, that's her." Jean quirks a brow, head tilting. "Same one? Or is there something else I don't know about too?"

Hod snorts, "Yeah, because /I/ can see color." he says flatly to her, "Most racist guy you know, the one who literally /can't/ see the differance in the lot of you." he quips back, "And Valkyries aren't warm and fuzzy types traditionally. Usually they're a bunch of ball busting alpha males but with boobs and, from what I'm told, nicer backsides. Since it's not the sort of choir that recruits people, I'm guess it's the same girl. Should make it easier to convince her to risk eternal damnnation if she knows us both. My odds may have improved to a solid 60/40 death to suicide mission ratio." he lifts his slightly drippy cone in the air lazily, "Go team."

"Yeah, because you have to be able to see people to make decisions based on stupid stuff," Jean smirks at Hod, rolling her eyes. "I'm just trying to keep you from getting mugged by well-meaning millennials, old man. Are you also the god of Eeyores? Because you've got dour down." Her fingers tap a rapid tattoo against the edge of the booth as she thinks, running through rosters in her mind. "What else would be helpful? I mean, it would be great if we walked up and talked things out and it was all just a misunderstanding, but if not…"

Hod grins, "You do if that stupid stuff is race." he says, "You all look alike to me." smirk. "Millennials. Stupidest name I've ever heard, because apparently 'two thousand' is the first millenium that's ever happened. Indefensibly moronic." he smirks, "I'm the god of all things cold and dark and lonely. What did you think I'd be like? If you thought light and warmth and folicking kittens, that's the other guy. I earned my dourness the hard way, it was crammed into me as a birthright and then pummeled into every fiber of my being physically for five hundred years. I'll be the happy god when someone's not trying to frame me for regicide followed by sending every god in two pantheons after me with ridiculously named magical sharp pointy things." he flops back in his seat as if he were tired and reaches under his glasses to rub the bridge of his nose with his fingertips.

"Sorry. Stressful day. I thought I sensed Ullr on my trail. Havn't slept since we last talked trying to keep ahead of that jackanape, just in case I was right. I promise, I'm usually more quiet and withdrawn then outwardly morose."

"It's okay," Jean shakes her head, smile flickering. "I don't take it personally. I'm just…poking you with a stick. Sorry. I'll take it easier. And if you need to rest, I can keep an eye out for a little bit. I'm out camping with a friend, because apparently I'm just a magnet for the morose and chronically unhappy, so it's safe enough from anyone very breakable. Give you a chance to get a little sleep, get your head right before you go planning an assault on a god of wisdom."

Hod shakes his head, "Naw, I'll be fine. Just havn't had to push myself like this in uh…" he seems to consider, "Mongolia?" he says as if asking the question to her like she would know, "Maybe Byzantium? It's been a minute and a half." he settles on that as a measure that makes 'sense'. "I need to do a couple more things before I hit up a nap anyway, so I should go. Ask your laser eyeball guy if hes game, I'll work on the Valkyrie so I can know whether or not she'll try to kill me. And maybe some sort of plan. Bah. Sleep first. Safe house, then sleep." he scoots on the booth towards the end of the seat, trying to keep his cone from dripping on him in the mean time.

Jean gives Hod a longer look, measuring, before she finally nods. "All right. Try to take care of yourself, okay? Call for help if you need it. And we'll figure this out. Like you said, things happen to gods who stand for actual things and the whole balance of the universe goes out of whack, so. We've got your back." At least that's how she's going to sell it to him, because 'you're sadder than a shelter puppy' is not going to go over well. "I'll be around when it's time."

Hod chuckles at that, "A child is telling me to take care of myself, I /must/ look like shit." he offers her a less sardonic grin then she's gotten since that first night they met when he was a much more relaxed and chill man. "Thanks kid." he pauses, "Not used to uh…" he points a finger at her, then himself, and back again. "Makes me a bit uncomfortable honestly, but I'm not sure I couldn't do with a little discomfort. Maybe being to comfortable has been part of my problem." he tosses up a shrug before turning to go, the ebony cane sweeping the area in front of him like a metrinome, "I'll find you when I have news." which is likely going to be all the warning she gets before he just appears next to her again.

"It's okay," Jean chuckles, sliding out of the booth herself. "I'm pretty used to it. Not a lot of mutants show up at the school trusting people. They've usually had a bit of a time themselves." She reaches out to set a hand to his shoulder, giving it a squeeze. "Also, maybe just give a little mental shout before you show up. Slightly outisde the personal space bubble next time," she suggests with good-natured humor. "That way you won't give me a heart-attack and be short a person."

Hod snorts, "But then I lose all my sexy sexy mystique and it's pretty much the only thing I got going for me." he pauses, "Well. And beards are back in, so, mystique and a killer beard. All in all, not much." he bumps her with his shoulder, which is about as 'touchie feelie' as he ever gets. "We'll figure something out. See you later kid."

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