2019-09-08 - Gods of Greed


Hod visits Betty.

Log Info:

Storyteller: {$storyteller}
Date: September 8th, 2019
Location: Betty's Apartment, Hell's Kitchen

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It was such a shit show. The monster that came crashing into her home was gone now, leaving her with a kiss on her brow and a mess of glass and blood to clean up. The monster didn't even help her onto her feet. It took her some time to stand, making sure all the shards were out of her soles and that the pressure of walking wasn't too horrible. It hurt, but she had to start cleaning up. Bandages (thanks Frank-prep-box), some socks and slippers, the reporter with Norse bead in her hair works broom and mop across the floor.

Hot, city summer air rolls through the shattered window, spilling through out the flat with a spark of the food down the street and garbage in the alley below. Brant curses, limps, but keeps going. Sniffling and swallowing, she pauses and stands still. Her form shivers and trembles, a breath leaving her pouty lips. Then comes a choked whimper.

And suddenly the breeze carries on it a waft of chill air. Not like freezing or anything, but one of thoses winds that comes when summer starts to die, just a moment, a caress, when one knows that the warm days are suddenly very limited. "Well. This smells like it's gonna be a good story." Hod says from where he stands just inside her apartment, his weight rested on the silver ball at the top of his cane, hands folded one atop the other there.

How he got in is anyone's guess, but then this is sorta what he does. Be creepy. He tilts his head to the side and inhales through his nose, his 'gaze' turning this way and that so he can hear the changes in ambient sounds that reflect off of the rooms surfaces. You still bleeding?" he doesn't sound worried for her so much as curious, almost clinical in tone. "And don't whimper. Cry if you have to, scream if you must, but never whimper. It's not a dignified sound and signals weakness, invites predators to seek you out and unless I miss my guess, you have enough of those to deal with already." he lifts a finger to push his mirrored shades back up onto his nose firmly. "Say, you got any booze?"

Betty Brant falls silent, her jaw tightening as that feeling washes over her form. What now? Thankfully, a voice travels along with the shift of seasons, pulling her somewhat blood-shot hazel gaze in his direction. Sniffing, she swallows and drags the collar of her shirt against her nostrils. Gods were…odd to her, but at least she understood they were Gods. "Yeah." She answers at length, a rough roll in her voice present - did something happen to her throat? He was right, though, and that urge to be stronger kills those held in noises dead.

"I do. What kind do you like?" She had a selection, it seems. Keeping up with her duties, cleaning as best she can in her state, she sets the mop aside and shuffles toward the kitchenette with a labored pace. "Are you hungry?" She offers. Hospitality, of course, is very important.

Hod makes a face as he hears the way she walks, "Oh for fucks sake, sit down already. There's a big wide easy to see line between tough and stupid and you're trying to skip rope with it. Where's the booze, I'll get my own drink." he says as he walks into the room. He doesn't have to put on any kind of show for her, so he just walks across the room, cane just held in his hand, and seems to just know where everything is as if he could see despite his handicap.

Usually he puts on a show, at least some level of a show, helps people underestimate him, but every now and then he doesn't have to, so he doesn't, and there's a liberation in that that's so new to him it's frankly a little unsetteling.

"Sure. You going to clean my apartment for me, too? Block up the window?" She somewhat growls back, even as her rump finds one of the stools at the kitchen island. Watching after him, she takes a breath, pointing in the direction of the booze out of habit. "Center of the kitchen, top shelf. From left to right, you have vodka, bourbon and whiskey. Higher end stuff is on the right. There's beer and mead in the fridge. Though, I'm guessing it's not your type of mead." She laments still not having tried said mead yet.

"I can still get you some food if you'd like." She comments before turning her head down and giving a cough or three. "Anyway, to what do I owe the honor of your visit, Hod?"

Hod makes a pfft noise, "Hire a maid, reporters make livable wages, get a guy to come up here for a hundred bucks and nail up some plywood until the window is fixed. Lookie me, solving problems everywhere." he walks to where she said and feels about for the cupboard lip, opens, and then sorts through the bottles, checking for weight and fill by sloshing them slightly. Picking a bottle of some flavored vodka as it's the least touched of the lot, he then turns and begins headed her way.

He then takes a seat in chair and flicks his thumb across the top, letting it spin off of the bottle with a soft scraping sound. "Not hungry." he says flatly as he lifts the bottle to his lips and takes two solid gulps before setting it back down on his knee. He makes a face, "Peaches?" he asks curiously, smacking his lips, "Well that's a new one on me." more smacking and the inevitable shrug of 'whatever'. "Why in the name of all that's unholy, pink, and crushes buildings with negligent waves of it's hand, would you want to get your fingers on the Gem of Cyttorak."

"You…don't know how low level reporters make it work." She murmurs, rolling her eyes and keeping herself on her seat. "I'll handle it." She decides, but perhaps not until Winter passes. "I understand if this is what you do. If this is your wall due to the shit that's happening in your life, but I'm going to stop you now as I don't have the fortitude to deal with another layer of bullshit to my night. Keep your chides to yourself, please." She didn't sound angry, more so simply tired.

"Hmm? No, Vanilla." She clarifies - perhaps it was still new. Then it was to business. "It was something I came across when doing research on the terrorist attacks. For whatever reason, the company involved with them is looking for that gem. I haven't found much about it. Something about a spirit or god? Some odd powers? Who can say, really. I've just learned that special items are usually better off /not/ in the hands of the bad guys." Pause, "There's another connection to a woman named Sondra Sutureson, too. Norwegian, but long lived. Reminds me of how I found Astryd and Fenris to begin with. I'll have to keep digging, but grabbing that gem isn't a bad idea."

Hod smirks a bit when Betty locates her spine and nods his approval, "Better." he says with something approaching human emotion. When she corrects his flavor choice he hrms and takes another heavy hit, hissing at the burn. "Well." he says after a long pause, "I'm not sure this one bottle's gonna do it then." the surname of the woman in question is not lost on him and he can already feel his bloodpreasure rising. "This item in particular is better off in it's rightful place, though that rightful place is in the hands of the most destructive force on the planet… at least top three. If it's not there now, then yes, I agree with you, we need to get it back. Before someone else less savory taps that power."

"I have bottles - have your fill. I can always grab more." She offers out, not seeming fussed that her stock might die after a visit from the God. "Just tell me if you do get hungry or want something, I'll grab it for you." She glances around the room then, still spotting the shimmers of glass left on the floor - she'd have to get rid of her rug, too. Twisting up her face, she sighs and returns her attentions to Hod. "I'm trying to think of where to keep it. With Fenris, maybe? I can try to hide it somewhere? I just, well, people are suffering and we have to do something about it. We have to deal with the Giant Princess /and/ a power crystal? It's like an episode of Sailor Moon…" Reaching up, she brushes up and into her hair, her breath hitching as she winces.

"There's a portal being guarded by this company, Brevity, in New York. Apparently, the portal can only be accessed by, well, you. The Unseeing Eye of Winter. Specific, don't you think?"

Hod snorts, "What's a sailing princess have to do with this?" referencing anime to an Asgardian likely not going to translate, doing so when it's the only blind Asgardian and therefore completely unaware of television culture it's clearly unhelpful. It really is easy to forget with him. "The crystal isn't a source of power, it's a link, to another god. Gaining it and therefore his link, you can become his avatar on earth, assuming you know how to activate it. There is already an avatar here, I suspect we ought to leave the gem with him. It is his after all."

She mentions the portal and he seems to focus for a second and then sighs, "I know this place." he says in an unhappy tone. "It leads to a place in the roots of Yggdrasil, which generally speaking isn't a place anyone wants to hang out."

"No, Sailor Moon. It's a story from Japan that was turned into a TV show. It's about a warrior who's Princess of the Moon, and then…ah, a story for later. Sorry." Shifting in her seat, she moves just enough to eye Hod directly. "But they're still searchin for it, this…ageless woman. I'm trying to figure out where the rage is coming from. Vanir and Aesir bad blood? Does it last that long?" Shrugging, "So it belongs to someone, then? I'm trying to find the pieces of 'why'. Why have the metal from this other world and search for this gem, too? More power? Trying to create another avatar? Bringing the Princess over to our realm along with this power?" Pausing, she rests her arm atop the counter. "I'm stll trying to find all the links to Fandral."

Hod sighs, "Mother and Father put most of that to rest when they were wed, the war took a lot out of people though, and my people are… long lived. Their grudges every bit the same." he shrugs a bit, "Whaddayagonnado?" he asks as all a single word and takes another hit from the bottle. When she starts listing off threads in her story, he starts shaking his head, "Oh no. Don't involve me in family business. I'm doing this for you because I owe Sif, but I want nothing to do with family business. I don't know what you know, but me and the other lot don't mix well. 'cept for Baldr." he clarifies. That said, he can't help himself, "Fandral? Knowing him it has something to do with not keeping it in his pants."

"I…don't owe Sif. I promised to help everyone from your Pantheon. So, here I am. Why not do this because, well, it's the right thing to do? Doesn't matter what happened before, or what even might happen after, what matters is now. People are dying, being targetted, and not only that but the substance used is from another world. Compound that with searching for some gem of power? How powerful is this thing? What does it give to the owner as the avatar?" Then talk of Fandral. The woman muses and even chuckles. "Yeah, well…hey, it happens, right? But why his children? Jealousy? An ex-lover? Some promise not fullfilled?"

Hod tilts his head a bit at her words, then shakes his head, "Mortals." he mutters to himself before continueing, "Right thing to do? From who's perspective? I've been in this Realm longer then any of the others, I've been a part of you people for more time then the rest of mine combined. Right? You lot change your mind on whats right from week to week, it's exhausting to keep up with trust me." he rubs a finger at the edge of his nose just inside of where his glasses are, "As for your gem, it creates the creature your media has affectionately begun to call the Juggernaut. An unstoppable force for chaos."

"From…life's perspective? When has it been 'right' to murder innocent people? What does it prove besides destruction? Some point of power that, now, is only seen as cowardice? This doesn't gain you fear or reverance, it just gains you enemies." A pause, she frowns and keeps her eyes on him, only seeing her own reflection cast back upon her. "Are they your kin in some way? Distant nieces? Nephews? Even if not, why not wish to protect them? If you've been here for so long, you're part of this world, aren't you? It's yours now, too?"

"Oh," she whispers. "That's what that gem does?!"

Hod seems thoughtful, "It was the way of life for the Vikings, the Mongols, the Romans, Ottomans, Persia, Greeks, I can continue. Do you think when they were conquering their way across the world they stopped to lament their actions? No. What they were doing was right. Either by following their precepts of what you people now call social Darwinism, or by doing as they believes their gods of the time desired them to do. Ask the Crusaders if what they did was right. They will of course tell you it was. Because God said so. And yet, by your reckoning, I immagine it was reprehensible. Right, like so many many things, is a product of the times, culture, and privledge of those trying to judge it. Whish is why I stopped trying to judge right and wrong a long time ago, seemed I was always wrong."

Another heavy pull passes his lips, "Notice anything about me and my 'kin'?" he asks flatly, turning the mirrored shades in her direction, though slightly to one side, "I don't hold these people any ill will, but neither are they my responcibility. I tried to be part of the world, a few times, but it turns out that the plague doesn't care about right or wrong and it will slowly send your wife and children screaming in unimaginable agony to their graves regardless of how good or naughty a person you were. I have been enslaved by good men and bad, beaten and trod on by saints, and nursed to health and given purpose by men you'd consider monsters. I've lost perspective."

"I'm not asking about history. I'm not against about the then because I know how history played out, at least what I've been told about it. I'm sure it's different. Is that what you're saddling with, then? Someone else trying to make that statement and just slathering the ground with blood? Blood of people who had nothing to do with this, whatever the fuck this is?" The talk is making her spirited, that's for sure, even if her voice is rough. She moves, she stands, flat footed and rushing out another passage of blood. "We can't control everything, but maybe we should do something with the power we're allowed to possess. Something good. Something…that doesn't turn the world into a more chaotic spinning ball of nothing that it is. We're all on a timer, most of us anyway, and I guess I don't want to say I did nothing when the choice was presented to me."

Sighing, she softens at the news of his wife, his children, his pasts. She scoffs then, "I want to smack the glasses off your face and embrace you."

Hod just shakes his head at her and sets the bottle aside, "At no point in human history have you people been safer, healthier, wealthier, freer, live longer lives, and still it's not enough for you. The /avarice/ of mortals is unprecidented and I actually know gods of greed." he pushes himself up to his feet, "Good for you. Setteling is for the weak and the broken." like him. "So. How long until your feet are healed enough for you to run on them? Because this trek we're going to make? It /will/ require running. Lots of it."

"Maybe it's not enough because people are still suffering." She counters, her hands resting on her hips. "I don't know if that's greedy or just a natural desire." Glaring, peering into his specs, she keeps her stance and listens. Blinking, confusion written across her face, she looks down at her feet and then gives them a small pressure test. "Soon. A couple days? I can go now if now is when we need to go." Swallowing, she settles in both heat and rage. "Hod," she speaks gently after a moment of silence. "For what it's worth, I'm not sure if it's much of anything, honestly, but I'm sorry. For, well, everything."

Hod grins at that, "People will always suffer. I honestly think that's the point, I /have/ to think that's the point. What is is the light but blinding and searing without the cool touch of shade and respite of darkest night to rest in? What is summer but scorching heat and the endless cacophony of wildlife without the soft silence of snow laden paths and the chilling touch of ice to compare it to? Without suffering, what is joy but endless boring nothing, the same day in and day out?" He has to believe it has a purpose, his entire exsistence hinges on the fact that for all the light and love his twin brother represents, he is the opposite. Summer to winter, light to dark.

He moves towards her window, "A couple days we can wait. You'll need to be able to sprint when the time comes, the guardians of the World Tree are not gentle, and where we go…" he sighs, "Well. You'll be happy you brought me along. And I'll be fucking miserable." her offer of sympathy causes him to pause, half in and half out of the window, still and distant and cold. He tilts his head slightly, as if silently acknowledging what she said, but then he drops out into the darkness without actual comment.

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