2020-05-20 - What do you mean you're a god?!


Hod gives Luke a dire warning, Luke doesn't listen.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Wed May 20 17:19:32 2020
Location: Luke's

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It's barely out of the morning yet, and while there's occasionally a regular drunk or two growing roots on a stool, today there are none. No customers yet. No nothing. Maybe cause it's Ramadan? Meh. Whatever the reason, the bar is quiet and the only two inhabitants in the place are the curmudgeonly chef and the owner. The deliveries are already done, the bottles all squared away, the bookkeeping completed. Sure, they /could/ pull out all the furniture and deep clean the floors, or dust off the bottles that almost no one asks for, or repaint the exterior or something. But …. why?

Hod, formerly going by the name Holden and since having dropped the sobriquet, is nursing a chilled tom collins glass with something bubbly, clear, and garnished with mint in it. His deformity is of course covered by the mirrored shades on his face, but assuming he had eyes or that one could see them, there's something in his body language that equates itself to 'staring off into the middle distance', 'blind' to the world around him.

Then there is the other bar occupant, the owner. Usually he would frown at the lack of paying asses in seats, but today he seems to be in a relatively good mood despite the apparent lack of revenue. He wanders behind the bar, grabbing himself a mug which he starts to fill with some water from the bar gun, "Holden, my man. Luke says as he leans against the back racks and focuses on the curmudgeonly chef, "How's it hanging?"

Hod takes another sip from his glass and then nods as if to himself, "You should take a seat." he says finally, "We need to have a talk." something close to a wry smile toys with the corners of his mouth threatening to bloom into a full on expression, "One I will be sober for. Some things have changed and you need to be made aware." he rumadges around beneath the bar, "And you're gonna want a drink."

In all the time Luke's dealt with Hod he's always been the very competent but very clearly blind chef guy. He moves slowly, but with confidence, reaching for things by patting about, double checking distances with subtle motions of his hands and arms and feet, it's never unclear that he can't see. At the moment the pretense is dropped and he just… pickes up a glass and a bottle from beneath the bar, hesitates, then puts it back and pulls out another different bottle, "I'd suggest a light cocktail, but I think this might be a good deep bourbon sort of talk." Seeing him move without any outward sign of his handicap is just plain weird. Like watching a known cripple climb out of a wheelchair and dance a ballet for you. Then again, he /did/ tell Luke about his visions, so it's pretty clear he's not entirely normal? The glass is set on the bar in front of him and a very genous pour of amber liquid splashes into the glass without Hod even having to try to find it. Bottle is left out and the glass is pushed Luke's direction with a finger, "Take a seat Lucas, it's time for confession."

Luke's brow arches. Sure, he has had the talks with Hod, and he knew the man could 'see' in his own way, but not to this extent. That however isn't what the concern is really, it is the tone. "Somehow I don't think you are about to tell me you over-ordered on the ribs and we are going to have to sell them under cost just to get rid of them before they go bad, are you?"

Luke walks over to the offered drink, replacing the glass of water with it and taking a sip from from the darker liquid." "What's up? Who did you kill, where do I have to bury the body?"

Hod snorts, "Please, my people don't bury the bodies we kill, we hang them from our walls as warnings to others. Object lessons." there's that dry Hod/Holden humor. Right? He waits until Luke is comfortable then nods, "It's an open secret that no one who works here is normal. No one mentions the weights you have in the back, no one talks about how your chef is a blind guy who manages to cook up whole meals in short order without burning himself or the building down, the ladies that work here that show up smelling like things you can only smell like if you have /very/ recently left /very/ interesting locales in the city… We all politely ignore one another excentricities in an attempt to keep a death grip on the smallest bit of normalcy. But none of us are stupid, and even the blind guy isn't /that/ blind."

Hod's head tilts and he turns the lenses of this glasses directly at Luke as if he could stare into him. It's so close to perfect and so not like his usual obviously off center stare that it would take most people a moment to realize he's still not /quiet/ 'looking Luke in the eyes' so to speak. So maybe he actually /can't/ see? "In a world where the extraordinary is fairly mundane, these small things are easily and willfully ignored. But things have changed and I think it's time I was a bit more honest with you, since there's a respectable chance I am not putting you and yours in danger."

Slowly taking a long sip form the drink, Luke listens to Hod, remaining quiet and motionless until the blind man is done speaking. "You're fired." the large man tells the blind man with a totally straight face, but since Hod can't actually see his face the slight warble and pitch of his voice gives away the fact that Luke is full of shit.

"Holden, dude, you're family. We all are, at least in my eyes. I can't speak for Anya or Becca, but I've got your back no matter what happens. This place is just a place, and as far as I can tell I am nigh-indestructible. I'll take my chances. Anya and Becca will obviously make up there own minds, but I can't see Anya bailing out on anything. She's been though some nasty shit and come out on the other side. You are not going to scare her off that easily. Besides, I have an in with the Avengers now, so if things are really /that/ serious I might be able to call in a favor. Maybe."

Hod lets out a long slow breath, "Funny you should mention family." he says after a long moment. "I mean everything I am about to say with all due respect Lucas, and please understand that when I say that I do not mean it in the empty hollow manner in which people of this century use the term. I respect you. Everything you do for your community, for the people in it, for the spirit that you attempt to uphold against the nigh unending preasures present to change in ways that would mean selling out who you are. There's a reason I came here, and it's not because of your above average ribs. This place is not disimilar to a church for me, a gathering of the lost and the broken. My people."

Hod reaches up and runs a hand down his face, "I'm doing this wrong." he says, "I fear that my family may come here with violence on their mind, my family and my enemies, and while you are all very special you know, better then most I suspect, that there are levels to the worl-" he sighs again and shakes his head once more, "Look. Thor is my little brother, Odin is my father, Odin wants to kill me, Thor I'm not sure about yet, and my enemies are countless, they are gods and monters you only hear about in stories and I'm not sure how indestructible you are but this bar, the people of this neighborhood, are not." he stops to catch his breath as that whole last part came out as basically a single long word.

Luke Cage says, "No, no you're not doing this wrong. I.." Luke starts to retort, but then Hod is spilling out his family line causing the large bouncer/owner to go slack jawed as he listens. "THE Thor? THE Odin? You are talking the literal 'god of thunder' here? No shit?" Luke stands there in stunned silence for a moment before finally lifting the glass in his hand to his lips and taking a sip. "Still, god or no god I'll bounce his ass out if he causes any issues in here. I told you, Holden, you're family. Your family wants to fuck with us, this Midgardian will certainly fight back.""

Hod is quiet for a moment, "I am three thousand years old, Lucas. I have been stripped of the majority of my power and left abandoned on a world alone to die, but with the shreds of power I still possess I know I have at least a 50/50 shot of killing you if I had to. I have weapons at my command you do not, and for all your invulnerability you are still mortal. You sleep. You eat. You fight, and well, and I imagine you are a very skilled protector. But you are not a true killer." he shifts his face down towards the bar, "I am." he says flatly.

Hod dumps the wilted mint leaves and ice cubes from his glass into the sink and pours another drink for himself. The Collins glass in his hand, once it's about 2/3's full, grows a very conspicuous coat of frost across it's surface, Hod doesn't seem to notice. "Once upon a time I was the god of the Secret Ways, Darkness, and Winter. When I was stripped of my power by Father I was no longer a threat, and while I was hunted it was not with true intent. An annoyance, a…." he seems to consider, "loose end if you will, but not a true concern. Recent events have returned to me my dominion over Winter," and a /very/ cold breeze blows through the bar, "so silver lining, you'll never have to pay for air conditioning agian," weak smile, "but with the return of my godhood comes the reminder to others out there that I still live, and /now/ I may become a threat. My Family, immediate and extended, do not deal in fair fights if they can avoid it. You have to understand the threats I might bring upon us. The Allfather is not a merciful being. If he truely turns his attentions to seeing me slain he will not fight fair. You and I may survive this building being flattened atop us without warning, but what about the people around us? The customers, Gwen? Becca? Anya?" he polishes off his drink and doesn't bother getting another. "In three thousand years I have known so few friends and while I have a very low opinion of myself it is not so low that I am willing to be the sort of man who puts his people in danger without letting them know of it first."

He lets out a breath and pours yet another drink after all, apparently he wasn't married to the whole 'sober talk' thing afterall. "Don't say I'm family or I'm your friend. You're a good man and you will mean it and you will convince yourself that you're following your heart, your principles, things I admire about you. You're a leader now, in one way or another, and people follow you. So what promises you make, you make for them as well. Your decision will put others in danger every bit as much as it will you or I. Think on this for a day or two. I will leave for now and return in a few days, you can tell me then if you are willing to risk my continues employment and what it might mean." he finishes the drink and reaches behind himself to pluck up his cane from the wall where it was resting and begins to make ready to leave.

Luke reaches out and places his hand on Hid's shoulder, applying a gentle pressure to push the man back into his seat. "You ain't gotta wait a few days, Holden. I can give the answer now." Luke says as he crosses those think trunks of muscles he calls arms over his chest. "You got a job here as long as you want. If you are worried about folks coming to give you a hard time, then we tell Anya, we tell Beca…we tell them all of it. If they don't want to take the risk, then I will give them a decent severance and help them find new employment. As for the rest of it…"

Luke sighs, then draws in a deep breath to continue speaking, "We live in New York. The chance of some random asshole with power coming into a place and fucking things up already exists. Hell, I've had one of the Avengers in here the other night having a drink, and she proposed maybe bringing her friends. If I am going to have that kind of clientele then I am going to have to assume the risk that some asshole like Thanos might come in and cause a mess. It would be damn hypocritical of me to kick you out but then invite them in, so I ain't going to do that. As much as you don't want me to say it, you /are/ family, You might be the old, blind, curmudgeonly uncle of questionable morals, but you are still family. I don't let just anyone drink there weight in booze, even if they do make a mean rack of ribs."

Hod's shoulder is cold to the touch, not chilly, cold. He is quiet for a long moment, "The difference there is that these assholes aren't random." he points out. "And the Avengers won't be here every day. I'm not saying my being here is the most dangerous thing you'll ever face, or have. I'm saying that the risk increase is exponential and the reward is some food. I have lost every friend I have ever known, none to old age. Do not make a decision without true consideration for it's consequences. /Knowing/ who I am has risks all it's own." he shakes his head, "I'm taking the two days, talk to the girls, if they want to know more after that I'll answer what I can to help them make their own decision. It should not be made in haste."

Luke Cage folds his arms over his chest and looks at Holden, "I can't stop you. If you are going to go, you are going to go and nothing I can say will ever stop that. What I can say is what I already have said, you will always have a place here. Look, man, I've got my share of folks coming after me as well. I'm an ex-cop who was framed for shit..and now I am a felony escapee. Luke Cage ain't even my real name, man. It's Carl. Carl Lucas. But as far as anyone known he no longer exists. Point I am trying to make is that eventually you have to stop running and put down roots. My roots are here and if people come looking for trouble, I'll give it to em. I got your back, even if I have to take a shot from that hammer of your brother's."

Hod snorts at that, "Hod." he says after a moment, "My name, or at least the one I answer to these days, is Hod." he pronounces it like 'ode', not 'odd'. He seems to battle with something in his own mind until merely shrugging, "As you wish." he says with a tone that carries a sad sort of weariness. He bellies up to the bar once more and pours another drink, "You've been warned, my conscience is clear." for all that he says, his expression says something else entirely. "So… how do I tell the girls?"

Luke Cage says, "We just tell them." Luke says with a shrug. "I can call a staff meeting or we just talk to them as we see them. I really don't think that your family is going to come here and mess my place up, but if they do…we cross that bridge when it gets here."

Hod seems to consider, "Call the meeting. Make sure the joints closed. People tend to have… questions when you tellt hem you're a god." he makes a sour face. "I fucking hate this part." and then he tops off Luke's glass. "And uh… thanks."

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