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  1. #21
    Sojourn & Cid

    Sojourn and Cid both listened carefully to what Gossamer and Nicolai had to say about Arena. It sounded like a very dangerous planet. And to think this was supposed to be 'entertainment'. Entertainment for very sick people. How could anyone enjoy watching people kill each other? Cid had no idea and it made him feel ashamed that the rulers of this planet shared his blood. Both gods agreed that using the portals to get the fortress and avoiding people as much as possible was the best idea.

    When Optimus offered Cid up to take Nicolai away, he did give him a look. Cid didn't want to leave, especially not when it was his family involved. Nor did he want to leave his nephew behind. But Optimus was right, Cid was the only one strong enough to teleport Nicolai to safety. Plus, he was weaker using so much energy getting them all here. He nodded his head.

    "Yes, I'll get you home safely. Just let me know when, Nicolai."

    Cid told him and then said to Optimus' telepathically.

    ~Just make sure you and the ladies get back in one piece.~

    He wanted the talisman but he was more concerned about their safety. He'd give it up, if that meant kept those three safe. Sojourn nodded her head to Optimus.

    "That's a good deal to me."

  2. #22
    Phobos and Deimos

    Phobos smiled unkindly. "Well well," he said. "How convenient. We'll deal with them here, then."

    "Kill the guard," Deimos suggested absently. "But you should leave Gossamer alive for the time being."

    Phobos' face clouded. "You can't still expect me to marry her? She's been with another man, and people know it. I'm not going to accept the leftovers of someone less than human..."

    Deimos shook his head. "Of course not. But you have to make an example of her. Let people see what happens to those who defy you."

    Phobos considered this for a moment, then nodded. "I'll instruct the guards to capture her."

    It was Deimos' turn to consider, and when he replied, he sounded thoughtful. "The guards may not be the most useful in this situation. Of course they will follow orders, but they may have some sympathy toward one of their own, in spite of his gross misconduct. We should make sure to be on hand ourselves, to ensure the task is done right."

    "Good thinking," Phobos agreed. "Grandmother? Great-Uncle? I assume you wish to be involved in confronting Grandfather, too?"
    "Sleep to dream, and we dream to live..." -Great Big Sea

  3. #23
    Gossamer and Nicolai

    "Thank you," Nicolai said.

    He hated the idea of leaving his wife and his friends when the danger was greatest, but it was the only way. With the Family of War controlling him, he would be more of a liability than an asset, so he had to make sure that didn't happen.

    "There's a portal directly to the fortress," Nicolai went on to explain. "But they'll be watching that one carefully. I would suggest instead we take another one from the top of the mountain, then to the jungle, then to the desert zone, then on to the center island. There's a short walk between each. Then we can take the back way in, and hopefully catch them by surprise."

    Gossamer nodded. "We'll have to be quick," she said. "The climate zones are harsh, and we'll be in danger from wild animal predators and possibly arena combatants. It's the best way to avoid being seen, though."

    Nicolai led the group around a large rock formation, then traced three runes on the rock surface. A portal shimmered into view. "One benefit of having a guard with you," he said. "Well, former guard. I know how to get around this planet."

    They would emerge from the portal at the top of a mountain, where a cold wind blew.


    The servant girl glanced back and forth down the hall, and seeing no one, she staggered past the door to Phobos' suite of rooms rather than going inside. Phobos had already hurt her terribly, and as angry as he was - even if it was directed at someone else - she was sure he was was going to kill her. Still, what had just transpired had given her hope. Gossamer, the bride, had gotten away. That meant maybe there was hope for her to escape, too.

    Because the guards had been occupied with attending to the guests, for just a moment the portal room was unattended. She hurried across the room as quickly as her injured legs could carry her, and threw herself through the nearest portal, taking no time to ascertain where she would end up. The important part was getting away.

    The sudden change in air temperature made her gasp and shiver. She was on top of a mountain, and a chill wind whipped around her. Cold seeped through her thin, torn robe like it was nothing. At least for the time being, though, she was free. Her legs collapsed out from under her, riddled as she was with pain and exhaustion, and she fell hard against the rocky ground.

    She heard heavy footsteps, but couldn't quite manage to scramble to her feet before a burly, grizzled, grime-encrusted man had her by the arm and lifted her from the ground, making her cry out in pain as he suspended her in the air, her toes dangling a few inches above the ground. He stared at her with an expression she didn't like, amusement glinting in his cruel gaze. "Well well," he said. "What have we here?"

  4. #24

    Hera smiled as she listened to her grandsons. She cared nothing about Gossamer and her guard, but her grandsons' anger would also have to be directed at Zeus. After all, he did keep the girl from Phobos. She was sure he would not forget that.

    "Your brother is right, Phobos. This whore must be made an example of."

    Hera said in agreement with Deimos. Gossamer's actions had been disrespectful and that could not be tolerated. She nodded her head again that it would be best for the gods themselves to deal with this group. She smiled at Phobos when he asked if she and Hades wanted to confront Zeus.

    "But of course, my dear."

  5. #25
    Sojourn & Cid

    "You're welcome."

    Cid replied to Nicolai. He was sure for the young man that leaving his wife behind was not an ideal option, but what other choice did they have? He'd be more of a danger to everyone if he stayed. He also trusted Optimus would be able to keep both goddesses safe when the time came for Cid and Nicolai to leave.

    "Sounds like a good idea.

    Sojourn said when Nicolai and Gossamer explained the best way to get to the fortress was to use various portals to get the fortress.

    "That is does. Let's do this."

    Cid said in agreement. Hopefully they could be quick and avoid detection. At least Nicolai would be able to help them get around quickly until they reached the fortress. The Ancient God and Secundae followed through the portal. The first thing that hit both of them was the extreme change in temperature. The wind was very cold and they were very high up. The sudden change in altitude was a little disorienting.

    "You weren't kidding about the harshness."

    Sojourn commented to Gossamer, and wrapped her arms around herself. She hoped they found the next portal quickly. Although the group had barely begun to walk, when Sojourn heard someone call out in pain. Sojourn grabbed her bow and an arrow.

    "We're not alone here."

    Sojourn told her friends.

  6. #26
    Optimus Prime

    Hades was very pleased with how the discussion was going with his great nephews. He was quiet but did nod his head that he would help confront Zeus and Phobos' harlot.

    Meanwhile, Optimus agreed that the best way to reach the fortress was to quickly use the portals. Hopefully, they'd be able to avoid the guards and the competitors on this planet. He told his uncle telepathically.

    ~You know I will.~

    He also understood that Nicolai probably wasn't too thrilled with the idea of leaving Gossamer behind once they reached the fortress. He told the former guard quietly.

    "I'll protect her."

    Optimus would protect Gossamer just as much as he'd protect Sojourn. He agreed that they should get going on. He followed his friends through the first portal and shivered when they suddenly arrived on the top of the mountain. The winds were brutal and cut through his clothes. He hoped it wouldn't take too long to find the next portal.

    "Lead the-"

    He was about to tell Nicolai to lead the way to the next portal, when he heard the scream and Sojourn said they weren't alone. Optimus drew out his sword and said.

    "We should check it out."

    Someone could be in danger.

  7. #27
    Gossamer and Nicolai

    "Thank you," Nicolai told Optimus quietly.

    Of course, Nicolai was fully aware that Gossamer was capable of protecting herself. He was not embarrassed to admit that between the two of them, Gossamer was an even better fighter than he himself was. It wasn't that he thought she needed him - or anyone - to survive a fight. She'd been raised for combat. The point was that he loved her. His fear for her safety was because he cared, not because he doubted her. He'd feel a lot better, knowing she had backup.

    Gossamer nodded that they should go check out the source of the sound. She hefted her throwing spear, and ensured that her own sword was accessible as they moved forward slowly and silently. Nicolai quietly notched a bolt in his crossbow.

    The stranger was well over six feet tall. He hadn't shaved in many days, so he was growing a fairly impressive beard, nor did he appear to have washed. He was gloating over what he apparently assumed was another competitor - a slender teenager in a bloodied white dress, who he was dangling by her arm, obviously causing her great pain.

    Gossamer knew exactly what the stranger saw. It was the same thing her brother Slate would have seen, finding a weaker person in the Arena. He saw an easy kill. Not a person whose life was of equal value to his own, but an easy one to snuff out to increase his score and his favor with the gods.

    "Put her down!" Gossamer said harshly.

    "Who's gonna make me?" the stranger asked with amusement, holding his knife mere inches from the flesh of the young woman's neck as she cried out again in fear and pain.
    Last edited by Monkey Kitty; 09-25-2016 at 10:19 PM.

  8. #28
    Phobos and Deimos

    "We'll have to locate them first, of course," Deimos pointed out practically.

    "It shouldn't be too hard," Phobos replied dismissively. "We have mirrors and seeing stones all over this planet."

    "Too many," Deimos countered quietly. "We can't watch all of them all the time. Not even the guards can. It's one thing when we have a Game going on, and we know where to aim. When they could be anywhere on the planet..."

    "We'll find them," Phobos insisted impatiently. "It can't be that hard."

    Leaning back in his chair, Phobos motioned to the guard captain. "Get the scribes working on it. In the meantime, I could use some entertainment. Bring my serving girl to me."

    But for the second time that day, Phobos would face disappointment at the hands of a woman. The guard captain returned to report that the servant was nowhere to be found.

    "WHAT?!" Phobos thundered.

  9. #29
    Sojourn & Cid

    Sojourn and Cid both had no doubt that Gossamer could take care of herself. However, it surely had to ease Nicolai's mind that when he would have to leave with Cid, that his wife would be looked after. Sojourn could smell the competitor before they even found him and the girl. They had to help her and Cid knew he'd be taking her to the Saber Vortex too. Although he had no idea that his grandson was responsible for the blood on her dress. He assumed the man had attacked her before he decided to try and slit her throat. Sojourn grabbed an arrow and aimed it towards his head.

    "We will."

    She said, ready to take a shot at him. Cid frowned and told the man.

    "There is five of us and one of you. I suggest you let her go."

  10. #30
    Optimus Prime

    Optimus Prime didn't think that Gossamer was not capable of protecting herself. Honestly, she was probably the most capable fighter here. He offered to protect her to ease Nicolai's mind about having to leave her behind eventually. If the situation was reversed and he'd have to leave Sojourn behind, he'd want reassurance that his friends would look after her. When the group found the competitor and the girl, Optimus couldn't resist making a face at the smell of him. He could definitely have benefited from taking a bath. They had to stop him and help the girl. Although, he assumed, like his uncle, that the man had beaten the young woman.

    A flame started to appear around the blade of his sword as Optimus said.

    "Let the girl go, we won't tell you again."

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