Soiree of the Gods

June 28, 2015:

Phobos is holding a party full of his relatives (Greek gods) and has invited a revolutionary and a Vatican representative - as you do.

Hilton Hotel, New York

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Every weekend is an excuse for celebration in New York. There is always something happening, the great locales are always rented and spoken for, at times years in advance. Yet even among the city's elite some places are more prestigious than others. The grand sweeping ballroom in the Hilton Hotel is one such a place. It holds a measure of fame for appearing in several movies with its wide dance floor and the multiple floors of the room that give a few balconies for looking down upon the rest of the party-goers. It has a large stage area for an orchestra and a pair of buffets that line either side of the far walls giving a bounteous offering of a myriad of dishes all steadily replenished as the guests take to their desires.

As for the party-goers, they are a rag-tag lot. So many of them are hustling and bustling to enjoy the mingling. At a casual glance they're just a normal sampling of humanity but now and again one might catch a horn… or a tail… even as they chatter and chit-chat away while they swirl around the man who seems to be the focal point of the party.

He's a tall fellow, but hard to determine at the moment. He's got that look of him like a man who had a rather staggering prime, was athletic in his youth but age had taken him and made him pleasantly plump and cherubic in feature. His cheeks are ruddy, his nose is red, and he lounges in a sunken conversation pit among various party-goers, regaling them with stories.

She'd been invited, even if she showed up on her lonesome. A blonde that looks like she's probably too young to be here, not that stops her mind you as she slips into the joint. A neat simple little black dress, and enough ink to paint a children's book. Her right arm is sleeved from wrist to shoulder in a mind numbing pattern of red and black, with black block Cyrillic text running down her left arm and what looks like a large back section covered partially by that dress. Neat little nurse held offhand, as she lifts a hand to adjust one of those diamond earrings before slipping out onto the floor proper.

That would be the Mother Fucking Partisan friends and neighbors, live and in the flesh. True to her reputation she walks like this is far from her first ball, the very picture of casual disinterest as she snags a glass of wine and eases out to search for her one friend at this decidedly supernatural party.

And here comes the living weapon of the Roman Catholic Church to such an odd event. But tonight Magdalena is not in armour or even armed…that anyone can see. Instead she is in a clinging red dress that shows off her Vatican trained body in a way that would cause apoplexy in nuns. Unlike Partisan, Magdalena doesn't look very comfortable at all…there are people with tails! But she takes a deep breath, says a little prayer, and steps into the ballroom.

The first thing that one most likely notices is the heat of the room, even as the industrial sized air conditioner for the hotel strains and strives to overcome the swelter of so many people in the same room. It does an admirable job, but it's still a touch musty or there's a slight feeling of closeness in the air. So cool drinks are evident, chilled foods and fruits, many delicacies to sample.

But then the next thing one might notice is the slightly haunting music, classical pieces often enjoyed in concert but which now lend a lovely aural backdrop to the conversations being had by the patrons. And such patrons. Magdalena might be surprised at the curiosities, but everyone seems to be behaving themselves, or behaving in ways that they might imagine they should behave at such a place.

And amongst all of those people is the young Olympian known as Phobos. He is one that rarely associates with his family, rarely cares to get involved with their constant gaming and one-upmanship. Yet Bacchus has never done him a poor turn, nor taken advantage of him or his abilities. So when he was asked to take up a role of shepherding the many guests and overseeing his uncle's interests… he did not decline. So it is with an eye that had been left for those entering that he spots them.

First he espies Partisan, who on some level he had perhaps assumed would not show. But catching sight of her his smile widens and he makes his way through the crowd, past a satyr that was trying to show a young woman a particular dance step that can only be completed properly with hooves. He moves past the tall gargantuan man who seems as if he were composed of stone, past several other guests until he arrives near the entrance to perhaps catch up with her.

"Partisan," His voice is pleased, filled with warmth. "S'good to see you. I hadn't expected you to make it."

But then he catches sight at Magdalena making her entrance… a touch hesitantly. He lifts a hand, waving, trying to catch her attention.

Partisan offers her hand, and a warm smile in return. "Perish the thought young man, I was invited by a good friend and I couldn't very well leave you to your own devices. You simply must have more faith in me, goodness." Her tone is refined, touched with a hint of a vaguely Balkan accent that does little but make her seem all the more exotic. A world away from the coarse Bostonian English she typically throws around, but then again she's not exactly in a blood soaked T-shirt and skate shoes right now. "I hope you've kept your sanity with all this, activity?"

A friendly face…or at least one she knows. Magdalena slips through the crowd towards Phobos with lots of 'excuse me' and 'beg your pardon' and 'sorry, I didn't see your appendage' being muttered to the other party guests. Finally she reaches Phobos and offers him a warm, if slightly bewildered, smile. "I did not realise there would be so many here" she comments before nodding in greeting to Partisan. "Hello. I am Maria" she introduces, offering her hand.

Seeming terribly amused at Partisan's command of her manner, and somehow pleased by it, he pauses once Magdalena approaches. Stepping in, as propriety dictates, Alexander makes the introductions. "Maria," He uncurls a hand towards her, "Might I have the honor to introduce you to the Partisan." He takes a step back to grant them a clear line of sight between each other.

Then he elaborates, "Partisan is my aunt in all save blood." He then looks to Partisan and says, "Partisan, this is Maria. She is a fair hand at swordplay and I have the honor to be her escort this evening."

He looks between the two of them and smiles easily enough, "Now, what can I get you to drink?" He looks between them and once he has a good idea of what they'd wish to consume he takes a step back, then turns to move off to fulfill their wishes. It leaves them with perhaps a handful of moments to converse.

Partisan offers Maria a smile in turn "And Hello to you as well Maria, I'm called the Partisan indeed. What a fortunate girl to have such a well-mannered young man as your escort." Wink wink after Alexander of course. "Oh Jack and coke if they don't have any Rakia, but I'm easy to please." before looking around the joint for a moment. "I take it this is all a little, bewildering for you my dear Maria? No need to wind yourself up, I'm usually a fair gauge of if there is a fight to be had."

"Red wine" Magdalena smiles to Phobos before he is off and she's left with Partisan. "I am afraid it is not company that I am used to" she admits with a blush. "Alexander /or/ the other guests." She does sneak a look to see if Partisan has a tail. "You are not related to Alexander? You do not claim to be a…well…God? I mean no offence."

There on the periphery of the crowd, Magdalena and Partisan are able to share a few words in relative privacy. Not that there aren't many people around, just everyone seems intent on their own conversations, their own efforts at drinking and eating and enjoying their company.

Moving through the crowd with practised ease, Alexander makes his way towards the bar and speaks to one of the tenders. A rum and coke is ordered as well as a glass of red wine.
Meanwhile, high above in the balconies, a woman shrieks at first a sound of startlement but then it quickly devolves into loud raucous laughter that is taken up by the nearby crowd. The band continues to play on, and all the while Bacchus holds court in his conversation pit. His deep and loud booming voice occasionally enough to rise up over the murmur of the crowd.
"Where is he? Where is War's boy? Nephew!"

Partisan just smiles "Oh no, goodness me. I'm no goddess, but I am supposedly the embodiment of a righteous rebellion against tyranny or something." Part just offers a little shrug. "Young Alexander's father and I fought alongside one another about forty or fifty years ago, so I'm more of a friend of the family really." A pause as she produces a cigarette case and a book of matches from her hand bag, offering Maria a smoke before lighting up her own. "Besides, I'm from the Balkans so wrong pantheon really. I suppose I should ask him if Baba Marta was ever a real person, I'm afraid Religion was never much my thing. Then again growing up our King was fairly violently anti-Christian, fall-out from the crusades I imagine. Anyway goodness now I'm rambling, however did you meet Young Alexander Maria?"

Maria politely declines the offer of a cigarette. "You hide your age well" she offers with a smile before standing quietly through talk of Crusades and anti-Christian violence. "Oh, I met him on a rooftop actually. I was tracking some demons, as one does, and Alexander was…being attacked by harpies. I think they were complaining about his attitude to women." The screaming voices, just like a harpy, and commotion cause her to look over at Bacchus for a moment before turning back to Partisan. "Righteous rebellion against tyranny? I like that."

Still holding the pair of drinks, Alexander is drawn over towards the conversation pit where Bacchus is holding court. The large man laughs, "There he is, such a fine young lad, despite his father's best efforts!" A round of raucous laughter is shared even as the young deity tries his best not to smirk too much or look too embarrassed. He says something that the god of wine has to lean in to hear, after which he laughs all the more again.

Finally set free of the attention of his uncle, Alex makes his way back through the crowd, sparing a few greetings for some of the beings he recognizes on his way. Only then does he finally make it there to them extending their drinks one to each. "Sorry about that, rum and coke… and red wine."

"As one does" Partisan echoes, puffing calmly at her cigarette and peering ever so casually back towards the crush of people. "Flattery is always appreciated, but my appearance does change. As for Harpies, sounds like a lovely time. Don't usually fight flying monsters now that I think about it, lots of vampires and there was that time I killed maybe Rasputin, lots of fake were-things especially wolves these days." Part offers Alex a smile before accepting her drink. "Thank you Young Alexander, we were just discussing harpies it would seem."

You remember those lovely ladies you were having a discussion with when we first met?" Magdalena needlessly reminds Alexander. "I'm still not sure I fought on the right side" she adds before offering a nod of thanks to the wine. A sip and it seems to get her approval. "You /maybe/ killed Rasputin? Was this before or after he was supposedly killed? I usually deal with demons but anything with a dark heart will be investigated."

"Yes, one of my aunts was a bit annoyed at me." Alexander doesn't go into which one, or why really, since hey they might be here in some form or at the least eavesdropping from afar. But now that the two ladies are set for drinks, he subtly steps back and to the side, making sure they have enough room to discuss and gesture freely even as the crowd continues to move about them.

Looking to Magdalena, Alexander smiles, "I am sure there are some who would agree with you on that score," About her fighting on the wrong side. He turns to look at Partisan, "Maria has told me that she felt I was a somewhat decent or nice individual. I've been trying to dissuade her of that notion our last few meetings. To no avail."

"The Interwar years, after the first world war we had a bunch of time on our hands. He claimed to be Rasputin, he did look like the photographs and he was all about the human sacrifice thing. So we hunted him down, and I dunno he was fairly tough to kill. I think I put maybe three hundred or so rounds worth of forty five into him before he went down to his knees, and I proceeded to hack his heart out of his chest with a trench knife. By that point we were sort've, unsure if that would do the trick for good. So we fed him to a wood pulper, and dissolved what remained in an acid slurry we set on fire." Part shrugs, sipping after her drink. "By that point it felt silly to go half way, just to do it over again. As for Young Alexander, well he isn't quite a gentleman for sure." Offering Alexander a little smile. "Doesn't have quite the right polish for that."

"Actions speak louder than words, Alexander. For all your desire to be a gigolo, your heart betrays you" smiles Maria before sipping her wine again. "That is quite the tale" she says to Partisan…and it is. "Hopefully he won't be coming back again. I shall have to think twice before dancing to 'Ra-ra-rasputin' at the next church dance."

Uncurling a hand towards Magdalena, Alexander then looks towards Partisan as he cocks an eyebrow, as if to say, 'you see? this is what I put up with.' But then his smile curves wry as he shakes his head to look back at Maria. "One day you'll awaken and clasp your hands to your chest and proclaim, 'Oh Alexander, how could you?' and I will simply shrug and recite the parable of the scorpion and the frog."

He gives a solemn nod, but his half-smile betrays his seriousness as he looks back towards Partisan, "You never told me you killed Rasputin. You're full of stories." He leans back against one of the large pillars in the dance hall, liberating a glass of champagne from a passing server as he looks between the two women.

Partisan shrugs "Well or some fool calling himself Rasputin, I was actually trying very hard to kill Pablo Escobar but a DELTA guy got to him first. I was did help drag Mussolini through the streets and string what was left of him up, pity I never had the chance to get in after so many others. I'm afraid most of the souls I've hunted are fairly well forgotten, as it should be. I did indeed kill the Rattle Snake though, who may or may not be someone you kids recognize. The result of being quite as old as I am now." Sipping casually after her drink, before snuffing out her cigarette on a nearby ashtray. "Men do not change, in my experience. You just grow to see the parts of themselves they try to hide, This is the nature of all men in truth."

"I do not have a lot of experience with men" Maria admits to Partisan, "So I shall bow to your experience on the matter." She doesn't actually bow but there is a slight nod at least. "How do you decide who deserves their fate?" she asks the other woman with genuine curiosity. Then a quirk of a brow at Alexander. "The scorpion and the frog? Does that involve crossing rivers?"

An open smile is given to Maria as Alexander says simply, "That is the one." He looks sidelong towards Partisan and then back to Maria. "I see my uncle gesturing for me again. If you'll excuse me. I leave you in Partisan's good hands, she is one of my most favorite of people."

Having said that, Alex steps away to dive once again into the hazy chaos that is the crowd. He makes his way across towards the elder god, leaving the two to discuss as they would.
"If they're doing harm to the unprotected masses of the proletariat, they die. If they cooperate with those that enslave their brothers, they die. If they get in my way, they die. I'm not a hero, I'm not a cape, I'm not a cop. I fight wars, I'm the People's soldier. If you get too wound up over the comparative morality, you'll get yourself killed. You try to do the right thing, and you do whatever it takes to free the people who can't fight for themselves." Part just shrugs, ever so casually. "A Cape fights for some sliver of his society, A soldier fights for his country, A police officer fights for the law. I fight for the people, not an abstract idea. People get all fussy over torture or blackmail, over bombs and assassinations and all that stuff because it's dishonorable according to who exactly?" Part pauses a moment to wince in thought "Luke 22:36, "But now" Jesus said unto them. "Take your money and a traveller's bag, and if you do not have a sword then sell your cloaks and buy one." You follow what he was talking about, right?"

"Yes, I like to think I understand what Jesus was saying" Maria nods before sipping the wine again. "But I don't think he was advocating torture or assassination. Are you ever concerned that you could be fooled by 'mob justice'? If you were at the Salem witch trials would you have been helping the people to burn the women? They believed they were fighting an oppressive evil." A little frown as Alexander moves to leave. "I hope we will catch up later" she offers, since he is the reason she is here at all.

"I was created, by an act of unjust state execution. So yes, I'd like to think I'm rather comfortably insulated from mob justice." Part sips after her drink, smiling softly after Maria. "Jesus was advocating that the oppressed would have no saviour on this earth after his death, the oppressed would have no champion. They wouldn't be able to survive with kindness alone, it would take the force of will and violence to see to their survival. He could have told them to relax, because he was the Son of god and he'd rise again and everything would be cool. Instead he told them that without him there, they would need to shed blood. He was advocating a resistance, not a hit squad. Not that the Church itself didn't visit torture and assassination which was ordained by the pope himself, trust me I was around during the Second World War. I know exactly what went down."

"You were in the meeting rooms with the Pope when this was discussed?" Maria asks with a wry look. "History is written by the victors, Partisan, you understand that. And Bibles are written by the entitled. Jesus did leave a champion, Partisan, just as he left his bloodline on this earth. But you won't read that in the Bible because there are those who do not want you to read it. Jesus didn't do dictation, others wrote his words as they remembered them. Sometimes they want you to believe something else because it suits their purpose. And that happens in every form and strata of life. I am sorry that you were created by unjust execution but there will have been someone that thought it was just."

"No, I was in Poland. Reading about how the Pope had decided to remain neutral, which many took as tacit support for the Invasion of Poland. I was knee deep in Polish volunteers trying to learn how to work bolt action rifles to give their wives and children enough time to flee the invading Germans, they took that very poorly. As for Christ, You would likely have me beat there I was raised in a place where such things were banned. As for my execution, I spent eight months undergoing -every- imaginable torture before they stripped me naked and marched me down to be executed. I was twelve years old, you want to tell me how that's acceptable from any perspective? I died, and was raised up to undertake my work." Part pauses to sip after her drink for a moment. "There was nobody there to save me, but I can assure you I try very hard to be there for anyone else in that position. Then I tear apart whatever put them there, it's why things like me exist. We've always existed."

"Yes…we have always existed" Maria nods to Partisan, smiling faintly at her compatriot in vengeance. "I did not say that it was just what happened to you but the mind that tortured a twelve year old like that, is more than sick enough to think that what they did was just. I do not excuse them by any means and I am thankful that I cannot put my mind in a place where I understand them." She drains her wine. "Would you care for another drink?"

"Naw, I really shouldn't. Booze always makes me grumpy, and I've got business to attend to in a few hours anyway." Part smiles, offering a hand for a shake. "It was a pleasure to meet you however, if you ever need me Young Alexander will no doubt know how to put you in touch alright? Don't be shy if you need a hand."

"Thank you" Maria nods to the offer, taking Partisan's hand in hers to give it a firm handshake. "And feel free to call on me too. I think we have a lot in common. It was lovely to meet you too." She glances around. Alexander is still talking to a pagan god and she is getting eyed at by a satyr. "I think I will be going too" she decides.

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